Food bank use has risen by 15 per cent in Brandon, says the executive director of Samaritan House Ministries Food Bank.
In a press release issued late Monday afternoon in advance of today’s national launch of the HungerCount 2012 report, Marla Somersall said efforts to alleviate poverty must focus on the situation facing women and children.
“While Brandon is pleased to see the lower percentage of women needing help overall this year, we can’t ignore the fact that 15 per cent more people needed assistance,” said Somersall, who is also the president of the Manitoba Association of Food Banks.
“The use of Brandon food banks continued to increase over the past year according to local hunger count data, which some organizations attribute largely to the critical shortage of low-income housing in the region.”
The national report, HungerCount 2012, which will be officially released today by Winnipeg Harvest and the Manitoba Association of Food Banks, shows that women continue to be the majority of food bank users, coming in at 52.8 per cent of adult clients, an improvement over last year when women made up 59.3 per cent of all users in Canada.
At the same time, children still make up nearly half of all food bank users, with 47.6 per cent of food bank clients being under the age of 18.
Together, women and children make up 75.3 per cent of food bank clients.
The annual report, conducted by Food Banks Canada, shows the number of people per month using a food bank in Manitoba and across Canada, and outlines the continuing need for the service. In March, 64,027 individuals — more than five per cent of Manitobans — used a Manitoba food bank, a 56.9 per cent increase since 2008.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 30, 2012