While the number of food bank users in March 2011 was down slightly from March 2010, food banks collecting data in March 2012 for next year’s report say demand is up again, according to the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
Among the reasons for the current increase are recent plant closures in southern Ontario and aboriginal people leaving troubled reserves in the north, said Bill Laidlaw of the Association. Meanwhile, food prices have been rising by an average of 3 per cent annually and shelter costs have been growing by 2.2 per cent a year.
Although unemployment in 2011 was the lowest since 2008, food bank use persists because many laid-off workers are taking lower-paying jobs and having trouble making ends meet, Laidlaw added. Single adults remain the largest percentage of users, at 39 per cent, followed closely by children younger than 18. They are among the one in 33 Ontarians who go hungry each month, the report says.
> The article above was written by Barry Weisleder.