A new report is putting some more context to the story about food bank usage in Canada.
Food Banks Canada says more than 863,000 people turned to a food bank in March to stock their own shelves at home.
That’s up 1.3% from March 2015, and 28% from 2008.
Here in Alberta, the numbers are even more startling.
READ MORE: The full report from Food Banks Canada
More than 79,000 people utilized a food bank in this province this past March, up from 67,000 a year ago and 33,000 in 2008.
“We’re seeing the impact of the economic recession that we’re sitting in the middle of because of resource changes in the province of Alberta,” said James McAra, CEO of the Calgary Food Bank.
” But, we’re also seeing a little bit of a hangover from the global downturn and as those pieces come together you’ve got a really great storm happening for people living in and around Calgary.”
Only Manitoba and Ontario didn’t see increased usage compared with 2015.
Food Banks Canada blames short-term economic disruption and the failure of government to support those facing tough times for the higher usage.
“We have opportunity to make some changes in public policy, we have opportunity to engage those people who have the ability to make these changes and it’s time that actually happens; food banks and food is not on any government’s radar,” McAra said.