Food bank users increase by 15 per cent as GTA marks Hunger Awareness Day
Rajeshni Naidu, cp24.com
The Greater Toronto Area is marking Canada’s fifth annual Hunger Awareness Day with a sharp increase of 15 per cent in the number of people using food banks in its municipalities.
A report from the Daily Bread Food Bank says 1,187,000 people visited food banks between April 2009 and March of this year, the largest one-year increase since social assistance rates were cut by more than 21 per cent in the mid-1990s.
The document shows individuals and families who visit food banks are spending an average of 68 per cent of their income on rent and utilities, leaving little for much else.
Executive director Gail Nyberg tells CP24 that the jump from eight percent last year to 15 per cent this year shows many people have “hit a wall.”
“They have exhausted employment insurance, they spent all of their assets they may have had, and now they’re qualifying for assistance,” she says.
“They’re so far down in a hole that they’re having to come to food banks.”
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