Calgary Food Bank sees increase in demand and food costs

A new report Tuesday indicates the price of food in Alberta has risen 28 per cent since 2002, a trend the Calgary Food Bank confirms.

The Calgary Food Bank says demand for its service has jumped 53 per cent since 2008.

At the same time, a new report says the cost of food in Alberta has outpaced the cost of all other household purchases over the past decade.

ATB Financial issued a report Tuesday indicating that the price of food has risen 28 per cent since 2002. 

"We follow Canada’s Food Guide, and because of this it is more difficult for us to purchase as many guaranteed content products when the prices are higher, so we depend much more on the generosity of our donors, said Dolores Coutts of the Calgary Food Bank.

Coutts says guaranteed content includes items such as peanut butter, tuna fish, cheese, pasta sauce, tinned tomatoes, stews, vegetables, and fresh produce.

"We work hard to plan for the ups and downs of the food market, but because we have an inconstant supply and an inconstant demand, the challenge is in ensuring we have exactly what we need, exactly when we need it," Coutts said.

Coutts says the food bank is also seeing an increase in donations, but demand always spikes right before Christmas.

  • Hear Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray's full interview with University of Alberta agricultural economist Ellen Goddard on the rising price of food. Click on "Listen" above.