Food costs are on the rise and the increase is beginning to take it’s toll on families. The Regina Foodbank had seen a dramatic increase two years ago at the rise of the pandemic. This increase has continued to grow – and now with rising costs, the situation is only getting worse.
Vice president of the Food Bank David Froh says the inflation rate on food is roughly 6%, which will lead to the average family of 4 seeing a $1000 increase in food costs this year, a massive amount for a minimum wage earner.
“When you have a minimum wage that’s under $12 an hour, it makes it very challenging for people not just to afford food but to pay rent.”
Froh says all the staples are becoming more expensive, placing the foodbank in a tight spot – as they have to take care of the needs for 10,000 people each month, with no clear idea as to what their supplies will look like.
Efforts to create a more sustainable local production line for the Food bank are in action Froh said during an interview, “When you’re bringing produce from Peru and Chile – that’s challenging. We’re looking to partner more with local producers and food manufacturers to have more food grown in Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan. Our goal is to have up to half of the food we distribute to be sourced locally. In the interim we need to rely on donations and getting creative with our food.”
Lentils, oats and potatoes are being moved from local suppliers says Froh – but with 10,000 pounds of food being given out daily requires them to seek more partners and more product.
The need for the services of the foodbank are rising. “We saw a massive bump at the start of the pandemic and it hasn’t leveled off,” notes Froh, but he says we have a two part story here in Saskatchewan. The need is part one, and the heart of the community rising to the occasion is part two.
“We have an immense and record demand, but we also have a community that has risen to the challenge. We don’t get any funding from the provincial government. We are funded entirely thanks to families and businesses in our city and they have ben there every step of the way.