Montreal

More Quebecers turned to food banks in 2015 compared to last year

The number of people across the province who are turning to food banks for help has gone up in the last year by almost 6 per cent.

Food aid requests up almost 6 per cent: the highest spike since 2008, according to Food Banks of Quebec

The Food Club is starting a different kind of food bank. (CBC)

The number of people across the province who are turning to food banks for help has gone up in the last year by almost 6 per cent.

"We're people's last resort," said Zakary Rhissa, executive director of Food Banks of Quebec.

Every year, Food Banks of Quebec compiles data through its annual hunger count, which counts the number of people who use food banks in the month of March.

"It's a portrait that gives us a snapshot of the year...But the situation could be underestimated," Rhissa said.

This year's count showed that there was a 5.9 per cent increase in requests for food aid from 2014 to 2015, and a four per cent increase in the individuals who used food aid.

"It's the highest increase jump we've seen since 2008," Rhissa said.

Some of those Quebecers in need of a square meal rely on services like the NDG Food Depot.

The depot, which has been serving the community since 1986, is a non-profit organization that distributes food to thousands of families in NDG, Westmount and Montreal West.

Last year, 750 volunteers donated a total of 13,000 hours of their time and distributed more than 13,000 food baskets to people in the community — more than half of them to families.

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