The Legault government on Sunday granted $6 million in emergency aid to help stock food to donate to food banks in Quebec.
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Hard hit by inflation, which not only drives up food prices but also forces more Quebecers to turn to food aid, the network of institutions is struggling to meet demand.
“The food aid organizations in our network are facing levels of demand never seen in our organization’s history. Across the province, the pressure on our members is enormous right now,” said Martin Munger, Director General of Quebec Food Banks.
According to a hunger report by food banks in Quebec, requests have increased by more than 20% since 2021. More than a third of the applicants are also children. Even more damning: 62% of food banks indicated they ran out of food during the year.
“To give you an idea, we currently have 15% of Quebec’s population living with food insecurity. That’s 1.3 million people who don’t eat more than one meal a day. And, unfortunately, mostly children,” lamented Audrey Renaud, General Manager of Regroupement Partez.
Photo courtesy of Moisson Marisy-Centre-du-Quebec
Martin Munger made an equally weighty observation.
“We reached 2.2 million requests for food aid… – you’re going to tell me by year – no, not months. Each month, our network and the organizations that provide it answer 2.2 million requests for food assistance. It’s too much,” concludes the general manager of food banks in Quebec.
A total of $6 million will be redistributed among the organization’s various partners, eventually distributed among more than 1,200 organizations, the government said.
“With this emergency aid, our government is responding to the pressure and growing needs of food banks facing inflation and the rising cost of living. […] These new amounts will have very beneficial spinoffs so that no one is left behind not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year,” commented Minister responsible for Social Solidarity and ‘Community Action, Chantal Rouleau.
Since the beginning of the year, Quebec has donated $14 million to the Food Banks of Quebec, both to finance food purchases and infrastructure or equipment projects for various organizations.
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