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People in these provinces are more likely to have used a food bank in the past few months: survey

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One in five Canadians say they or someone they know used a food bank within the past 12 months, a new survey shows.

Conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News over late May and early June, the survey of more than 1,000 Canadians found that, while only two per cent of respondents said they visited a food bank for help, close to twice as many knew of a family member who did, and more than 10 per cent said they had a friend or acquaintance who received assistance.

The proportions held relatively stable from the previous month, with the number of respondents who had no connection to food bank use rising slightly to 72 from 70 per cent. Close to 12 per cent in both surveys said they were unsure.

Respondents in British Columbia and the Atlantic region, those aged 35 to 54 and women were more likely to say they or someone they knew visited a food bank, they were unsure or preferred not to say.

At roughly 78 per cent each, Quebec residents and those over the age of 55 were the most likely to declare they had no connection to food bank use.

As grocery prices continue to rise in recent years, food insecurity has been top of mind for many Canadians, a source of pain in the fight over inflation, which seems to have impacted nearly every aspect of people's pocketbooks.

Asked how rising food prices had impacted their routine in the past month, a majority of respondents said they sought out less expensive foods, with another 29 per cent indicating they stockpiled food products to safeguard against additional cost. Another one in five said they were eating less food altogether, and 28 per cent said that affordability changes had not brought any impact on their household's recent food habits.

Most say more supports needed

Nearly two in three respondents to the survey said they felt not enough was being done to support those unable to access enough affordable, nutritious food in Canada, and another 16 per cent said they were unsure.

That proportion was consistent across the country by region and various age groups, ranging roughly between 63 and 67 per cent. Women were more likely than men to say they felt not enough was being done.

As for their own personal contributions to support efforts, 40 per cent of those surveyed said they had donated either money or goods to a food bank, while another 18 per cent said they had given directly to a close friend or family member, and a further 14 per cent reported they had loaned money to a loved one.

Three per cent of respondents reported volunteering their time to a food bank.

Methodology

On behalf of CTV News, Nanos Research conducted an RDD dual-frame survey, online and over the phone, with a random sample size of 1,043 Canadian adults. The survey was conducted between May 31 and June 2, 2024, and carries a margin for error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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