Children are more than one-third of Wood Buffalo Food Bank clients as demand rises

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By Wood Buffalo Food Bank

More than one-third of clients at the Wood Buffalo Food Bank are children as more people in Canada use food banks than ever before, according to local and national data.Theresa Wells, board vice chair of the food bank, said in an interview there was a 7.1 per cent increase in clients during the 2021-22 fiscal year from the 2020-21 year. Roughly 34 per cent of clients are children and 12 per cent are seniors. The number of food hampers given out to people increased by more than 15 per cent.

“It’s not a surprise, but it’s shocking and it’s deeply, deeply troubling that we have so many children who are growing up with food insecurity,” Wells said in an interview. “It’s something that, as a country and certainly as a province and a community, we need to be cognizant of.”

Food Banks Canada says more people are using food banks than ever before. The number of Albertans using food banks in 2021 rose by 73 per cent compared to 2019. This is higher than any other province or territory, and more than double the national rate of increase.