Nov 30, 2020

By Jeremy Logan

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A new report on food bank use across Ontario shows there was a surge in demand for those services when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the province over the winter.

The latest study released Monday by Feed Ontario says the number of people accessing food banks had already gone up over the previous year when the global health crisis began, which exacerbated existing issues.

The organization included a special analysis of the impact of the pandemic alongside its usual report on annual food bank use, which gathers data from 130 member food banks and 1,100 affiliate agencies.

The annual report looks at data from April 2019 to this April, while the pandemic analysis covers data from 71 members and 339 affiliates between March 17th when Ontario declared a health emergency and September.

It says all food banks reported a significant increase in the number of first-time users in the first four months of the pandemic.

And 20 percent of food banks surveyed reported seeing a “continued surge” in the number of people accessing their services on an ongoing basis an increase of five to 54 percent even beyond that period.

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