A new report on food bank use in Canada shows a disturbing trend on Prince Edward Island.
Food bank use is up 10 per cent in the last year, the second highest increase in use in the country, behind only Manitoba. Nationally, usage was up 2.4 per cent.
Measurements for the Hunger Count 2012 report compared use in the month of March over the last 11 years. The 3,406 people using food banks in March 2012 was the highest in that period. Food bank use on the Island actually fell from 2006 to 2009, but has sprung back up again since then.
Food drive a success
The report came out on Monday, the same day as one of the year's biggest food drives in Charlottetown.
The Y's Men's food drive recruited between 300 and 400 volunteers, including firefighters and cadets, to collect food donations from households in the capital city area.
"We've collected a lot of food," said Andrew Kingman of the 107 New Haven Royal Army Cadets.
"We've been told that there's a lot of people going hungry around this season."
Upper Room Food Bank manager Mike MacDonald expects the number of food bank users will only increase in the coming months.
changes to the EI system, we're certainly expecting higher numbers than normal," he said.
MacDonald estimated about 40 pallets of food were collected, about average for the food drive.