Food Insecurity Remains a Big Challenge for Canadians

Salvation Army worker hands over boxed meal to client
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With the rise in inflation, Canadians are finding themselves struggling financially. The cost of living is increasing, leading many people to face food insecurity.

According to a recent Salvation Army survey, 52 per cent of Canadians faced food security challenges in the past year. In addition, 59 per cent of people that accessed Salvation Army food banks between 2021 and 2022 were first-time users.

While inflation tends to rise yearly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine have increased energy and food prices worldwide at a higher rate. According to the Bank of Canada, the country’s inflation rate peaked at 8.1 per cent in June 2022. The highest it has been in decades.

A lack of access to food could lead to serious health problems for the Canadian population. A journal published by the Public Health Agency of Canada in October 2022 stated that insecure access to food due to financial constraints was linked to poor mental health and higher rates of infectious and non-infectious communicable diseases.

The first half of 2023 does not look promising for those who responded to our survey as 47 per cent of Canadians said they could face food security challenges throughout the first six months. Hence, social assistance programs offered by The Salvation Army are of more help than ever.

In 2022, The Salvation Army served 3.7 million meals at food banks, shelters and through community meal programs. Providing financial support assists The Salvation Army in helping millions of individuals and families yearly. People can also help by volunteering.

By Juan Romero