Food bank use in B.C. highest on record for province

A new report shows more than 100,000 British Columbians used a food bank last March — the highest number on record for the province.

100,086 people used food banks in B.C. last March; 32 per cent were children

The annual study by Food Banks Canada found that more than 850,000 people relied on food handouts during one snapshot month earlier this year. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

More than 100,000 British Columbians used a food bank last March — the highest number on record for the province, according to the annual Hunger Count survey from Food Banks Canada.

That's up three per cent from the same month in 2014, and up 28 per cent since 2008, when 78,101 people in B.C. used a food bank.

Nearly a third of food bank users in B.C. were children. About 32 per cent listed disability-related support as their primary income.

Although B.C. hit a new record, other provinces — most notably Alberta — are seeing a much larger rise in food bank use.

Demand in Alberta was up 23 per cent in the past year, and up 83 per cent since 2008, driven by job losses in the energy sector.

Saskatchewan had a larger proportion of food bank users who were children, at 45 per cent.

Across Canada, 852,137 people used food banks last March, up 1.3 per cent from the previous year.

With files from Meera Bains


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