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More PG families are turning to food banks for help

Inflated grocery prices are making life difficult for some Prince George families.

According to the Salvation Army, they have seen a 25% year-over-year increase in the number of people accessing their food bank.

Major Neil Wilkinson told Vista Radio, that every March, a hunger count is done. In 2021, the Salvation Army was just shy of 1,000 households that were included – this year that number has spiked to 1,300.

Wilkinson is hearing all too often how a certain portion of the population continues to struggle.

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“What we are hearing as a general theme, is that we just can’t make it anymore. I hate labels, but the idea of working poor is kind of the demographic people we are seeing at the food bank for accessing services for the first time.”

“And so, people who have scraped by in the past, now because of rising costs for a living, no longer have enough money to make ends meet.”

He also lists which items are the most sought-after from families.

“Canned proteins, peanut butter, tuna, and canned meats. Those sorts of things are more expensive in the grocery store and they are harder for food banks to come by.”

Earlier today (Monday), the province announced $2.85 million dollars in new funding to support community-based programs and research into emerging and urgent food needs.

Food Banks BC is receiving $955,000, with the majority of it ($825,000) dedicated to providing rapid access to food for people affected by emergency events, such as wildfires and floods.

In addition, Food Banks BC’s Resilient North Research Project will receive $130,000 to develop a greater understanding of the unique food-security challenges in our region, especially rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

For a link to the release, click here.

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