HungerCount 2013 shows number of Canadians helped each month 25% higher than five years
OTTAWA, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Too many Canadians are struggling just to
put food on the table, and food bank use continues to hover at record
levels according to HungerCount 2013, a national study released today by Food Banks Canada.
The report highlights that in a typical month, food banks in Canada now
provide food to more than three quarters of a million separate
individuals - 833,000 people - and nearly 4 in 10 of those helped are
"Far too many people are looking into an empty fridge and wondering how
they're going to feed themselves and their kids," said Katharine
Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada, which coordinated the
national study involving more than 4,000 food programs.
The HungerCount 2013 study found that:
Each month, 80,000 Canadians are forced to ask for help from a food bank
for the first time.
Nearly 40,000 of those helped each month are seniors with incomes too
meagre to afford enough food.
1 in 6 households assisted by food banks have employment income, yet
still can't make ends meet.
"The inability to obtain enough food, when it is abundant all around us,
is physically and psychologically scarring," continued Schmidt. "It is
simply unacceptable in a nation as prosperous as Canada. We are calling
on the federal and provincial governments to make real investments in
policies that will reduce the need for food banks."
The HungerCount 2013 report provides policy recommendations that can make significant
progress in reducing the number of people who need help from food
banks. Recommendations include:
Increase access to affordable housing, so that Canadians are not forced to choose between paying rent or
Increase investment in education and training for Canadians at risk of
failing in the job market, so that people can become self-sufficient through employment.
Invest in local food solutions in the North, to help Northern Canadians build the capacity to feed themselves.
Revolutionize social assistance, so people can build self-sufficiency instead of being trapped in
For a full copy of the HungerCount 2013 report, visit http://foodbankscanada.ca/FoodBanks/MediaLibrary/HungerCount/HungerCount2013.pdf.
Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hungercount/id567779411?ls=1&mt=8 to get the HungerCount app for iPhone and iPad.
About the HungerCount Survey
HungerCount was initiated in 1989, and is the only annual national research study
of food banks and other food programs in Canada. Since 1997, data for
the study have been collected every March. The information provided by
the survey is invaluable, forming the basis of many Food Banks Canada
activities throughout the year.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of food-related
organizations in every province and territory, which assists more than
800,000 Canadians each month. Together our network shares over 200
million pounds of essential, safe, quality food annually, provides
social programs that help to foster self-sufficiency, and advocates for
policy change that will help create a Canada where no one goes hungry.
Visit foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
Relieving hunger today. Preventing hunger tomorrow.
Image with caption: "Food Bank Use, Unemployment, and Poverty, 2003-2013 (CNW Group/Food Banks Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131105_C9482_PHOTO_EN_32860.jpg
Image with caption: "Food Bank Use in Canada (CNW Group/Food Banks Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131105_C9482_PHOTO_EN_32862.jpg
SOURCE: Food Banks Canada
For further information:
Media contact: Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, 647-242-5919 (mobile) or (905) 602-5234, ext. 228 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org