Toronto-based food bank sees surge in clients amid pandemic-related food insecurity

TORONTO — A Toronto-based food bank says food insecurity is soaring as a result of COVID-19, leading to a major spike in new clients since the pandemic began.

In a report published Wednesday, the Daily Bread Food Bank says the rate of new clients accessing its member food banks has more than tripled over the course of the crisis.

The report says intake data from across the city found 6,100 people began accessing food banks in June, compared to 2,000 in February.

Read more: N.S. charity says meal costs have increased due to COVID-19, calls on public to help

An accompanying survey suggests about three-quarters of those new clients began accessing food banks as a direct result of the pandemic, with job losses and reduced hours cited as the major reasons.

Story continues below advertisement

Additionally, 34 per cent of the 221 clients who responded to the phone survey said they will not be able to pay their rent four to six months from now.

Twenty-eight per cent said they received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit but still needed to rely on food banks.

© 2020 The Canadian Press