Vancouverites feeling the pinch this Thanksgiving, says food bank

Many here are doing some last-minute shopping for their Thanksgiving dinner – but with prices on the rise- some items may be taken off the grocery list.

The demand for Greater Vancouver Food Bank hampers this year has been ‘unprecedented,’ the organization says.

Chief operating officer Cynthia Boulter told CityNews that five years ago her organization was supporting about 7,000 people a month. Now, they are seeing as many as 17,000 a month.

“Job loss is certainly a theme, families going from two incomes to just one income to no income,” Boulter said. “Parents are skipping meals so their children can eat, adults are skipping meals so they can pay their rent.”

Also read: More families struggling with cost of living and poverty, says UGM

To keep up with the growing demand, the food bank has changed the way it raises funds.

“We stopped taking food drives almost a couple of years ago and focused our donors on donating funds through online fundraisers with their friends and families,” she said. “Lots of companies will match employee donations as well.”

Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab analyzed data on popular Thanksgiving fixings and found that the prices of many items increased significantly over the past year.

The lab found that turkey has seen a price increase of 18 per cent, butter is up 10 per cent, potatoes are up 13 per cent, and squash is up 63 per cent. The price of pumpkins have also jumped, up 12 per cent.

If you’re a guest at someone else’s dinner this week, you can be extra thankful this Thanksgiving that your host forked up a little extra for supper.

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