Food bank use on the rise: Report
A report released by Food Banks Canada shows that food bank use rose by 3.4 per cent in Manitoba in 2015 compared to 2014.
The 2015 Hunger Count report shows that in March of 2015, 63,791 Manitobans used a food bank to feed themselves and their families.
March is considered an average month and numbers are extrapolated from there, according to the report.
Winnipeg Harvest executive director David Northcott said the numbers are more than just statistics — they’re people.
“These are real people,” he said. “Each March we count real people who actually use the food bank.”
Of those people using food banks, about 42 per cent in Manitoba are children, the secondhighest in Canada, behind only Saskatchewan at 45 per cent. However, this number is down slightly year-over-year in Winnipeg and Northcott said they regard it as a victory.
“When you see fewer kids using these food programs, that means they’re being treated better in other areas, the families are getting a bit stronger.”
The report makes several recommendations to bring food bank use down, including abolishing social assistance and instead implementing a living wage, tax reforms, and continuing to build affordable housing.