Inflation driving elevated demand at Saskatoon meals financial institution

With prices increasing for almost everything, the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is seeing that impact on its food supplies.

According to Stats Canada, the inflation rate in Saskatchewan jumped 5.7 per cent from March 2021 to March 2022. It jumped 7.5 per cent for groceries and jumped 50.8 per cent for fuels.

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At the food bank demand is increasing.

“We’re seeing about 19,000 people a month now, almost half are children and so the increased demand we feel is probably connected to inflation, the cost of gas is rising, the cost of food is rising and people are really struggling,” said Deborah Hamp, Saskatoon Food Bank Operations Director.

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Hamp believes when schools close for summer, that number is going to increase.

“There won’t be access to breakfast programs in school, or lunch programs in school and so we’re expecting that increase to grow even more in the next few months,” Hamp said.

Adding to the stress, she said, orders are being delayed.

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“So while we have wonderful donors, we’re spending all sorts of money on bringing food into the building, on bulk purchasing orders. Those orders are delayed and so we’ve been waiting weeks, in some cases months for supplies to come in, and so in the meantime we’re scrambling to really meet need in the community,” Hamp said.

The food bank is doing their annual food drive campaign, but this year it needs extra help. During the month of May, it’s asking for donations of nonperishable items at grocery stores or the food bank.

Residents can also donate on the Food banks website.

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