Buying local produce and going back to cooking basics are key to weathering this year's increasing food prices, according to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Food prices are set to increase two to four percent in 2016 due partly to the low Canadian dollar making imported produce more expensive. This will make eating healthy especially difficult for low-income households.

"They have less money to spend on healthy eating and the result will be that a lot of people will buy ultra-processed foods because they are cheap," said Aart Schuurman-Hess, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

"They're the wrong product for us to eat as a human because it has long-term health effects."

Schuurman-Hess says people looking to make the most of the food they have can learn a thing or two from grandparents who canned and cooked from scratch.

"I think it's important we all go back to those simple basic habits of preserving food and cooking from scratch with only a few ingredients."

More than 100,000 people in B.C. use food bank services every month, according to Foodbanks B.C.

Making the most of donations

Schuurman-Hess says the best way to help people who use the food bank is to give cash donations, rather than food.

"Monetary funds, for us is the best opportunity. We have incredible buying power."

Schuurman-Hess says the food bank uses its purchasing power to buy produce from local farmers, which helps the organization avoid the poor exchange rate while supporting the local economy at the same time.

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: How food banks cope with low loonie.