Food Bank of WR continues to see record high demand as everyday costs climb even higher

Everyone is feeling the budget crunch as the affordability crisis gripping the country continues.

It has forced people, especially those making low wages, to make difficult decisions often times when it comes to groceries.

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has seen more individuals seeking food assistance programs every month. In fact, demand has doubled since 2020, according to CEO, Kim Wilhelm.

“Back in 2020, we averaged about 10,000 individuals that accessed a food assistance program right here in Waterloo Region. And, those participants were accessing a food assistance program not quite 25,000 times, on average, in a month.” Wilhelm told The Mike Farwell Show. “Now, we are seeing on average 23,000 individuals access a food assistance programs almost 50,000 times. That’s not sustainable.”

There was hope the provincial budget would offer some measures to help bring costs down, but that wasn’t the case. Wilhelm said it was disappointing to see no additional money for Ontario Works.

She hopes the upcoming federal budget will offer more support for people struggling to afford the necessities.

Monday’s announcement of a federal school food program was on her list.

Wilhelm believes the only way to truly address food insecurity is to address the underlying factors, first and foremost the cost of living.

“Food banks are not a solution. They are a short-term emergency solution, not a long-term solution.”

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is always accepting donations. Cash donations allows the food bank to fill the gaps in its inventory and ensure the food is on hand when needed. Monetary donations be made here.

The most needed non-perishable food items include rice, meals and soups in a can with the pull top lids.

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