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Some Maritime food banks see increased demand amid rising food costs


Food banks in the Maritimes are being hit by a sort of double inflation.

The first, increased food costs, and the second, a rapidly growing clientele of people now depending on them to feed their families.

“We're averaging now 200 a day, 7 days a week,” said Marco Amati, Loaves and Fishes general manager in Sydney, N.S.

That's triple the amount of food given out compared to just a couple of years ago.

Amati is in charge of stocking the shelves and purchasing groceries for the soup kitchen and food bank, located in the city's downtown core.

“I do it every week now. It used to be every two or three weeks, now it’s every week,” said Amati.

It's a similar story at food banks across Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick.

“The numbers so far this year, we're up about 36 per cent in demand for the number of hampers, and 37 per cent in the individuals served,” said Alex Boyd, CEO of Greener Village Food bank outside Fredericton, N.B.

He says the recent carbon tax, rising interest rates, and the general cost of living is making it difficult on people to make ends meet.

“All of those things when you put them together mean people have fewer dollars to spend on the things they need, so then they need to look for help,” said Boyd.

In Glace Bay, N.S. it means empty shelves.

The food bank is not seeing as many donations coming through the doors as they once did.

“We appreciate everything. We will take one can, but we're feeling it on both sides. The client list is going up and the donations are going down,” said Linda MacRae, Glace Bay Food Bank co-ordinator.

More than a thousand meals were handed out in June, MacRae says that type of demand has never been seen before.

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