Several new surveys have found Canadians are feeling very stressed from soaring inflation rates, including the rise of grocery products. Statistics Canada writes, “Canadians pay 9.7% more for food at stores compared to a year ago” – the largest increase since September 1981.
The FP Canada Financial Stress Index survey says that 38% of respondees have cited money as their primary source of stress – almost twice as significant as health, work, or personal relationships. Soaring inflation has Canadians stressed and hungry — and it isn’t ending anytime soon.
One-in-five Canadians reported going hungry at least once between March 2020 and March 2022, as much of the world was put on hold due to COVID-19. The survey conducted by Mainstreet Research found 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 under $50,000 a year.
So why are grocery prices so high? CBS News reports that the food supply has a domino effect. Pesticides and fertilizer costs have risen by almost 50% because most of the ingredients used for agricultural chemicals are exported from Russia.
Over 60% of Canadians say rising grocery prices impact their stress levels significantly, and in turn, more and more Canadians are turning to food banks for support. Single mothers, families with young children and elderly persons are being hit the hardest.
Food Banks Canada CEO Kirstin Beardsley says “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 percent in some regions.”
On a local level, organizations such as the Mississauga Food Bank depend on donations from wholesalers like CJR and their partners to help, because it doesn’t seem like grocery prices will be leveling off any time soon.