A survey conducted by Mainstreet Research for Food Banks Canada has found that almost a quarter of Canadians reported eating less than they should because there wasn't enough money for food — a figure that nearly doubled for those earning less than $50,000 a year.
It also found that one in five Canadians who responded to the automated telephone interview poll of 4,009 adults from Feb. 25 to March 2 went hungry at least once in the previous year.
Food Banks Canada chief executive officer Kirstin Beardsley said the majority of food banks are already stretched to their limit and this summer is expected to be the toughest in the organization's 41-year history.
"Food banks in most regions of Canada are experiencing an influx of Canadians visiting food banks for the first time — a number that's increased by up to 25 per cent in some regions," she said.
"Canadians are telling us that they are running out of money for food because of rising housing, gas, energy and food costs.”
Statistics Canada reported that consumers paid 9.7 per cent more for food at stores in April compared with a year ago, the largest increase since September 1981.