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Amount of Montrealers Relying on Food Banks Increases
More Montrealers are relying on food banks as the supply chain and inflation have affected food prices since the start of pandemic to now – as inflation in Canada is at almost 10%.
Food banks are feeling the weight of food shortages and rising food prices. Moisson Montreal, an organization which gathers food donations and basic products and distributes them for free to community organizations on the Island of Montreal is not able to access as much food for those experiencing food insecurity.
There are no recent food insecurity statistics available to show the current situation in Montreal, but to show how food insecurity has been growing during the pandemic, Moisson received more than 550,000 requests for food services in 2019. By 2021, this grew to more than 700,000. This is an increase of 25.9% compared to 201
Maggie Borowiec, the Director of Philanthropy at Moisson, an organization which gathers food to distribute to community organizations on the Island of Montreal, says labour shortages and lack of manpower are prevalent in food industry – resulting in food shortages and lack of surplus for food banks.
Borowiec says the lack of surplus has donors struggling to fill orders from stores, meaning there's not much extra to spare for food banks. She says how Moisson gets food is that it's donated from surplus. She says this practice is not just by Moisson, but food banks across the country.
Borowiec says last year, Moisson distributed 17 million kilos of food. "This was exceptional numbers for us," she said, adding that this was a value of $100 million in food overall. To compare, around 2016/2017, Moisson distributed $80 million worth of food. She says this is a 25% rise in distribution.
Borowiec said before the pandemic, we were in situation where the economy was doing very well, they were seeing downward trend in numbers of people accessing food banks. However, she said right when the pandemic hit, there were more first time food bank users. She added that as pandemic got better, levels got better – currently it is no where near the level of those seeking food banks as at the start of pandemic,