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PG’s Salvation Army Food Bank experiencing 20% spike in demand to begin 2023

Food banks across BC including the Salvation Army in Prince George are feeling the crunch of higher grocery prices due to inflation.

Spokesperson, Roy Law estimates while their seeing a 20% spike in foot traffic, their food costs have also risen at a similar pace.

“We are able to work with a few more community partners and do the best we can with the best cost scenarios possible but life is such that it goes up for everyone.”

Law added the food bank is seeing a mix of new and old customers walk through the door.

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“We have definitely seen some new faces and such and then some who we have not seen for a long time where things were OK and now they are now over that threshold. As for items that are we looking for, pretty much all your basics. You need your proteins and fresh veggies.”

Other items like soups, peanut butter, canned meats and spaghetti are high in demand for those wanting to donate

According to the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, food prices nationwide could see a five to seven percent spike this year.

The report forecasts that an average family of four will spend up to $16,288.41 per year on food, an increase of up to $1,065.60 from what was observed in 2022.

“We haven’t seen food prices increase this high in Canada for over 40 years and based on our findings, the increases we have predicted are still quite high but not as high as the increases for 2022,” says Dr. Simon Somogyi, University of Guelph campus lead.

“That may be cold comfort for Canadians, as food prices are already high, but if inflation can come down, it’s possible that we could see price increases for 2023 at or below 5%.”

However, when breaking down the food price increase among the provinces, BC saw the smallest spike at 9.2% last year – Quebec saw the highest jump at 11%.

A link to the report can be found here.

A January survey by Second Harvest, the country’s largest food rescue organization, showed reliance on food banks is expected to increase by 60 percent in 2023.

That follows a 134 percent increase last year.

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