Halifax soup kitchens, food banks ask for produce donations as prices climb
Higher food prices forcing more clients to food banks and soup kitchens dealing with increased food costs
Twelve dollar cauliflower might be an inconvenience for many, but the high price of vegetables is hurting those most in need in our communities.
Soup kitchens and shelters that provide meals to the homeless and those who need a little extra are struggling to afford fresh produce.
Canadians are seeing higher prices for vegetables and fruits as a result of the weak dollar and weather issues in crop-growing areas.
It's a double whammy for food banks and shelters. Higher prices mean more people will use their services. But it also results in fewer donations and increased costs, which translates into less food.
Les Porter is the chef at Soul's Harbour Rescue Mission in Halifax. He says they are looking for ways to stretch their shopping dollar to help more people.
"You have to get the good deals because my wife and I went to Superstore the other day and had two heads of cauliflower for $5 and we took them right away, so you have to look for the deals," he said.
Tough times for food banks
"Look for the price drops and get them while you can and what you could do when that happens and you don't want to use it all cut it up blanch it put it into the freezer, so you could have it for later use."
Donors are being encouraged to give fresh produce to places like Soul's Harbour Rescue Mission to help offset the rising costs.
Food banks are also facing a tough time with a growing number of clients, fewer donations and higher prices.
We just don't have enough to give it out every single day and still give a good selection- Kevin McKay
Kevin McKay is the operations manager of the Parker Street Food Bank in Halifax. He says the high produce prices are hurting the people who depend on their services.
He says almost every day they see people coming asking for extra food items like carrots, potatoes and other fresh vegetables and fruits.
"We just don't have enough to give it out every single day and still give a good selection to our clients who come on food bank mornings," McKay said.
"Our donations are down which they have been over the last little while, we just can't supply what they would like to see."
University of Guelph's Food Institute estimates the average Canadian household spent an additional $325 on food in 2015 and is expected see an additional increase of about $345 this year because of the low dollar.