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

SHARE: Maple Ridge offers bounty of raging rivers

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Inspector leaving Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment

Paradis has been promoted to superintendent in new role with Surrey RCMP

Work continues on Pitt Meadows own RCMP detachment

City studying whether to renovate offices or build new detachment

Maple Ridge Rotary clubs launch new lottery

Winner could take home up to $85,000

Outpouring of generosity for Christmas Hamper Society after safe stolen

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows group has recouped stolen $10,000 several times over

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Most Read