A family of four will see their grocery bills rise by $500 next year, according to a Canadian University study. (Photo courtesy of USDA.)

Food banks see food cost rising, more demand for help

Maple Ridge has an increasing number of agencies providing charitable meals - Robson

The cost of food is rising in Canada and the head of the Friends in Need Food Bank in Maple Ridge expects to see more people needing donations.

Mary Robson, executive director of the food bank that serves Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, was aware of a new university report predicting food costs will increase by nearly $500 for Canadian families in 2020.

According to a joint study by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, a family of four will pay $12,667 for food, which is a $487 increase.

Meat will be the biggest riser, up an estimated four to six per cent.

“We are going to see an increase,” Robson said. “It’s not just the cost of food going up, its the whole rising cost of living.”

She said the food bank does a means test to see whether people qualify for regular assistance. The threshold increased last year, and will again in 2020.

“We will be raising that bar to allow more families to qualify.”

READ ALSO: Holiday Train a Friend of food bank.

Robson said the food bank is seeing a continuing increase in demand.

The food bank added seniors outreach in November, with food banks now offered at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon.

They are becoming increasingly popular, and seniors particularly benefit from the fresh produce in the perishable food recovery program.

“They are having such a hard time making ends meet at the end of the month,” Robson said of seniors.

The number of registered food-bank clients has held steady at just over 700 households over the past year, said Robson.

However, there are a growing number of organizations providing food for those in need, either by providing community meals or through programs by groups including the Kiwanis, Rotary and Youth Unlimited.

In addition to feeding the families registered with their organization, the food bank also helps some of these programs access their donated food.

Robson noted thousands of pounds of donated food are diverted to farms for livestock, because they are past their expiry date, and asked people to “check the date before you donate.”

• The CP Holiday Train is a key food bank fundraiser and stops at Port Haney Station in Maple Ridge on Monday, Dec. 16 at 7:50 p.m., then moves down the tracks to Pitt Meadows for 8:55 p.m.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hall Of Fame induction is a feather in the cap, says proud Walker Sr.

Son will be inducted into hall of fame with 76.6 percent of vote

Langley brewery renames beer as tribute to local Vegas shooting victim

Maple Ridge’s Jordan McIldoon, one of 58 killed in 2017 mass shooting, remembered by Five Roads

Road repairs winding down on Maple Ridge road

New storm sewer connection installed

BC Summer Games organizers to hold big volunteer drive Saturday

Save On Foods locations across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will have info booths

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Most Read