Canada's annual food price report is predicting a significant in food prices next year, but the biggest impact might be for those who are fighting each day to avoid hunger.

Marco Amati has been doing what he can to keep the shelves stocked at Loaves and Fishes in Sydney heading into the holidays, but news Tuesday that food prices are going up in the New Year isn’t the Christmas gift he was looking for.

“I say our numbers are going to rise,” Amati said.

The cost of food will go up between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent in 2019 according to the latest annual food price report - done by researchers at the University of Guelph and Dalhousie.

That means the average Canadian family will pay roughly $400 more next year for groceries.

“We have to do more shopping, go through all the flyers that we can, try to find the bargains because if it's going up,” Amati said. “That means we're maybe going to see more people this year because they can't afford it.”

It's also tough news in a country trying to curb child poverty.

In Cape Breton, where roughly one in three children lives below the poverty line, groups trying to help say they'll be feeling the pinch too.

“The programs like the breakfast programs, lunch programs, backpack programs that we fund become more important, more vital,” said Lynne McCarron. “Food banks become more important.”

The biggest price jumps, at between four and six per cent, are for vegetables, which are not only some of the healthiest foods, but often among the hardest to come by at food banks like this one.

“There's a lot of good people out there,” Amati said. “They donate a lot of vegetables, a lot of potatoes, and we're really blessed to have that here, but as the time goes on, I could see that it might diminish.”

There is some good news, though. The prices of meat and seafood are expected to go down, but with studies showing Canadians are eating fewer animal-based foods, and more veggies, that may be cold comfort.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.