More than half a million people accessed food banks in Ontario during pandemic
Feed Ontario released its 2021 Hunger Report recently, and it shows food bank usage is soaring in the province.
Feed Ontario said more than 590,000 people in the province accessed food banks over the course of a year. The organization looked at food bank visits starting in April 2020 to the end of March 2021.
Officials said this is the largest single-year increase in a decade.
“This equates to approximately 3.6 billion times, so a 12 per cent increase from last year in terms of how many times they’ve come to food banks,” said Siu Mee Cheng, executive director with Feed Ontario.
“Sadly, of this population we are seeing some of society's most vulnerable visiting the food banks.”
Cheng said food banks also saw a 36 per cent increase in the number of older adults.
“That is the population group that saw the biggest increase in the foodbank data," she said.
"In fact, we’ve seen a 64 per cent increase since 2008. So that is the largest group that has grown on the foodbank visits."
Feed Ontario said it expects the numbers will be even higher in next year’s report.