Harvest Manitoba says an expected rise in food costs in the coming months will hit the food bank just when it’s needed most.
A food price survey released last week shows that costs are expected to rise as much as seven percent in 2022, adding nearly $ 1,000 a year to the grocery bill for an average family of four.
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Harvest Manitoba president and CEO Vince Barletta says that means the food bank is preparing for a jump in clientele, as well as looking for ways to manage rising costs.
He says Harvest has already seen a 75 percent increase in new basket registrations in recent months.
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There are currently 85,000 people who depend on the food bank each month, he told 680 CJOB on Monday.
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“Those are record numbers that we have not seen since the beginning of the pandemic,” he said.
“We are anticipating … those numbers will continue to rise in the coming months.”
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The twelfth edition of the Canada Food Price Report released Thursday predicts that the average Canadian family of four will pay an additional $ 966 for food in 2022, for a total annual grocery bill of $ 14,767.
It is the largest jump ever predicted by the annual food price report.
Barletta said Harvest has already seen an increase in food costs in recent months due to the pandemic and shipping disruptions.
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He says Harvest has been able to meet the need with current levels of donations and volunteers, but there is concern that donations will run out as the cost of living rises for everyone.
“It is not just those at the bottom that are affected, it is everyone who is affected when food prices go up,” he said.
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“For the average family, there may be less capacity to put that can in the container for Harvest.
“We are facing a triple blow of necessity.”
–With files from The Canadian Press
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