Skip to content

Opinion: The double damage inflation is doing to food banks

Inflation is not only forcing more people to seek the help of a food bank, but rising costs are making it harder for food banks to keep up with rising demand, says the chair of the Inner-City Home of Sudbury

Inflation is proving to be a persistent economic challenge that affects us all. However, it's essential to recognize the disproportionate burden it places on more vulnerable families, particularly those who rely on local food banks to meet their basic needs. 

As chair of the Inner-City Home of Sudbury — one of, if not the largest food bank in the city — I'm deeply concerned about inflation's double impact on our operations.

Not only does inflation drive up demand for our services by making food and essentials more costly, but it also makes it more difficult for the food bank to purchase food items for families in need. 

The Inner-City Home of Sudbury's food bank is witnessing an extended surge in demand, driven by soaring inflation rates experienced over the past year. Families who once managed their budgets are now looking for help to put food on the table. 

We are seeing clients at our food bank we haven't seen in several years, and the number of families using a food bank for the first time is also up more than 40 per cent. Food bank visits are up for the sixth consecutive year, according to Feed Ontario’s Hunger Report 2022

As I've said numerous times, we just can't keep up.

As food banks face historical demand for their services, inflation is also making it more challenging for food banks like ours to purchase and provide food to our clients. The escalating transportation, storage, and production costs create financial barriers that make it harder for us to supply fresh and nutritious food options to those in need.

As inflation continues its hold on the economy, the prices of perishable food items — such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meats — skyrocket. This means the Inner-City Home faces the daunting task of buying these essential items at inflated prices or resorting to cheaper, sometimes less nutritious alternatives. 

The impact of inflation undermines our mission of ensuring the health and well-being of individuals and families who rely on our services. Simply put, our dollar is not going as far as it did last year, which can mean less food for our clients.

Now, more than ever, the Inner-City Home of Sudbury's food bank needs the support of our community. We gratefully accept donations of food and also encourage donations of cash, which can make a significant difference by enabling us to tackle the double impact of inflation head-on. 

Here's why cash donations matter for our food bank:

  • Monetary contributions provide us with the flexibility to address the most urgent needs of our clients. We can often leverage funds to purchase perishable goods to ensure families have fresh, nutritious meals.
  • Cash donations empower food banks to buy in bulk, taking advantage of wholesale prices and maximizing the impact of every dollar donated. This allows us to stretch our resources further and serve more people in need.
  • Inflation is an evolving challenge, and cash donations enable us to adapt quickly. We can respond to shifting demands, secure necessary supplies promptly and bridge the gap between available resources and the increasing number of families relying on our services.

The double impact of inflation on food banks is an urgent issue that demands our attention. Together, we can alleviate the strain of inflation, meet the rising demand for food assistance and ensure that everyone has access to nutritious meals. Your contribution, regardless of size, can help make a meaningful difference in the lives of our neighbours in need. 

Today, I appeal to the compassionate hearts of our community to support the Inner-City Home of Sudbury to help us alleviate this pressing issue. To the many generous people who have supported us, thank you. Please visit Inner-City Home of Sudbury for more information.

Joe Drago is chair of the board of directors for Inner-City Home of Sudbury.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.