Life on a limited income is an extra challenge for people living with diabetes or celiac disease, a poverty survey by Women's Network PEI is finding.

Women's Network has been conducting the study over the past few weeks, and hearing stories about people facing difficult decisions about what food they should eat.


Mike MacDonald says his staff are seeing more people with celiac and diabetes at Charlottetown's Upper Room Food Bank. (CBC)

"One woman said, the woman who was celiac, said 'I know that I'm putting my health at risk by eating food that I shouldn't. On the other hand, it's a choice between food that's not very good for me and no food at all,'" said executive director Sara Roach-Lewis.

Mike MacDonald, manager of Charlottetown's Upper Room Food Bank, said while staff try to accommodate people with health conditions, it's difficult to meet the increasing demand.

"It's just more and more people coming through our doors with these restrictions," said MacDonald.

"We did see them 10 years ago, but they were far fewer, so I guess it was easier for us to supply those individuals with their needs. But today there are more and more and it seems to be increasing every day."

The poverty survey wraps up Friday. Recommendations will be taken to government and local businesses.