Use at the Grande Prairie Food Bank has grown substantially year over year as inflation and food security issues continue to plague many families in the region.
Salvation Army Grande Prairie Executive Director Captain Peter Kim says since 2016, some of the intake stats in the foodbank have more than doubled. He adds a number of factors bringing more people to their door on a regular basis, with the community kitchen also continuing to see an influx of those needing a meal.
“On a given year since 2016, we [gave] out between 2,000 to 3,000 hampers; now we are looking at 6,000 and 7,000, and that’s a lot more food that we need,” he says.
“86,000 meals last year, and I anticipate around 89,000 this year… food insecurity is real. Some people have to [skip] a meal, some have to stretch their dollars with rising food costs, and some just go without.”
Captain Kim says the growth isn’t isolated into what would be considered the traditional vulnerable population in the city and region, but households of various sizes, and nearly every age group is covered, including seniors.
“Mainly because they’re on a fixed income and with rising food costs they’re having a hard time getting by. It’s unfortunate, but we do see more new faces at the foodbank.”