October 01, 2015

Alberta: Food bank usage spikes due to massive layoffs

Holly NicholasRebel Commentator

While the media ignores job losses in Alberta under the new NDP government, food bank usage has increased.

Unfortunately, this isn't surprising. Under an NDP government in Manitoba, for example, food bank usage by the working class poor increased significantly, and became the second highest in the country:

(Graph: FoodBanksCanada.ca)

I talked to Jodi Egan from the Calgary Food Bank, who says there has been a steady increase in clients since January, with a 23 percent influx in March and a 20 percent increase in August. 

Since March, fluctuations in increased use have been between 10 percent and 20 percent, where a normal year to year increase is usually around 3 percent to 4 percent.

Egan says that 93 percent of new clients arriving at the food bank have recently been laid off. 

Tamisan Bencz-Knight with the Edmonton Food Bank directed me to a recent survey posted on September 24, 2015 that indicates that food bank usage has increased by 1893 people since 2013 -- a 13.8% increase.

Fifteen percent of respondents indicated that they had lost their jobs; another 8 percent indicated that their hours had been decreased; 7.4 percent of respondents are receiving unemployment benefits, while 5 percent indicated that they had a household income of over $50,000 – in which usage is attributed to changes in the economy.   

One third of respondents said that their household income decreased in the last 3 to 6 months, and most said that the reason they couldn’t afford food was due to lack of employment.   

With the increase in clients, the food banks need more donations to make sure that they are prepared for Christmas.  In Calgary, they are in need of basics such as beans, pasta, canned soup, canned meat and peanut butter. Jodi says that every dollar donated can buy five dollars worth of food. Edmonton could use monetary donations to fuel their trucks to bring food to depots and agencies.

You can also bring non-perishable food items to the Stand Up For Alberta rally in Grande Prairie on October 3, 2015.


Tell Justin Trudeau to stop siding with convicted terrorists:
SIGN OUR PETITION supporting the government’s decision
to revoke their citizenship at KickThemOut.ca

JOIN TheRebel.media for more fearless news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else.

VISIT our group blog The Megaphone!
It’s your one-stop shop for rebellious commentary from independent and fearless readers and writers.

You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2015-10-06 22:05:51 -0400
Holly, my apologies. I misread and misspoke. I’m sorry you had to point that out.
Food bank usage really is one of the clear indicator’s of economic health of an area.
commented 2015-10-05 20:08:50 -0400
Paul – I have been saying since the beginning of the campaign that it looks like a Harper minority government which would be a good thing. Harps would be out and the conservatives could nominate a more palatable successor. Lot’s of great candidates within the party and a leadership race could add some excitement to the party in general.
Having said that – I am a bit of a Poll junkie (although they have been problematic over the past few elections) and I find Nanos to be most credible. Still lots of issues with Land lines vs cellphones etc. but they show the Liberals separating themselves from the rest of the pack – http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/20151004%20Ballot%20TrackingE.pdf. Unless Harps can turn this around (Justin is hanging in there), I change my prediction to a Trudeau Minority government. If JT can garner more support in Quebec – he could be nearing a majority. Be ready for it folks. My point – Justin may just be saving the day. I am willing to wager on this prediction.
commented 2015-10-05 17:47:42 -0400
Well isn’t that just wonderful. At least we can be more comfortable knowing that Justin and Tom will save the day!
commented 2015-10-05 16:11:44 -0400
Hi all – thanks for reading my column! I just wanted to comment on the data sets from FoodBanksCanada.ca because there seems to be some confusion: 1) that data was only used to reflect Manitoba, where the NDP have held government for 16 years. They also do not provide the data for percent population – very important for an accurate comparison. MB has a much lower population than Alberta. That data was converted and graphed to reflect those numbers 2) I got the rest of the data directly from the people I spoke to from the Calgary and Edmonton food banks. The stats from Calgary and Edmonton are from this year, so very recent.
commented 2015-10-05 11:14:37 -0400
Peter, my comment was intended to convey the message that “humanity” crosses all political lines and is not partisan. I go to church on Sunday and there could be a liberal in the pew next to me. Or even an NDPer. We have coffee after church and never belittle each other due to a political point of view. I apologize for any personal attacks I have made here (particularly to you Liza). Healthy debate is important but we need politics of consensus in this country. Not politics of division.
commented 2015-10-04 11:16:25 -0400
I would have to agree Andrew, that the stats from the FoodBanksCanada.ca don’t reflect the recent downturn as their most recent stat is from 2014.
This article says usage in Fort Mac alone is at the highest levels in a decade. http://globalnews.ca/news/2123650/shelves-bare-at-several-alberta-food-banks-as-usage-increases/ “A bit farther north in Fort McMurray, the local food bank has seen a 57 per cent increase in usage in the first six months of 2015”
commented 2015-10-03 23:18:54 -0400
I looked at the Food Bank usage stats. Beyond the fact it’s not really useful for this comparison since the data are not recent enough to reflect the oil crash OR the NDP government, there are a few interesting points – the highest increase in usage in most recent report (13-14) was in Saskatchewan. at +19% in that year. Alberta’s usage went up only 2.3%, Maitoba 2.4%. Ontario and the Maritimes actually dropped. All three prairie provinces have gained about 50% since 2008, and there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between governments – and Ontario? Only 19%. Again, well ahead of the national average.
commented 2015-10-02 18:51:14 -0400
Jimmy I think I tried to explain this before. When Redford arrived on the scene while stelmac was premier. These UN backed ,agenda 21 infiltrated and over through the Klien government after he stepped down, it was essentially a coup. These people were not the run of the mill conservatives that we were used to. That’s what people from out of province don’t understand, because the media did not report any of the back room stuff. Stelmac had us fooled for a while, and I even think that he realized that he was being duped that’s why he stepped down and then never heard from again. So then we got rid of Redford, that’s when of course slick Jim appeared and nobody trusted him, obviously.
It makes perfect sense that the UN wants into Alberta to shut down our oil industry, you just have to see who is controlling it. Just follow the money. Now that the ndp is in power the UN agenda 21 can now take hold. I for one am not afraid of the ndp idiology, I’m afraid of the organization that they seem to worship. They will be after all our property rights next because that’s the next step in the agenda 21 montra.
commented 2015-10-02 18:46:49 -0400
Wishful thinking is just a state of mind, common in losers.
commented 2015-10-02 18:46:15 -0400
Jimmy Da Silva

They were far left re4d Tories, that’s why the were thrown out.
commented 2015-10-02 18:21:36 -0400

The facts are that PC IS conservative – maybe not enough to your liking, but they have been running things there for decades. They are certainly not liberals.
commented 2015-10-02 18:13:31 -0400
Jimmy Da Silva

Caused by the previous government who were not conservatives, that’s why they were thrown out. Now we have an even worse government making it ten times worse. Get the facts straight.
commented 2015-10-02 17:02:08 -0400
And this has nothing to do with someone who has only been on the job for 4 months. I appreciate that some conservatives on here were able to concede that the problems now – were caused by the previous government, which is among the reasons why they were voted out.

Of course – that isn’t the agenda that Ezra and Brian are pushing. They actually expect us to believe that 4 months on the job can cause this much damage.
commented 2015-10-02 02:22:12 -0400
After the NDP wrecking crew under Rachel Notley is finished with Alberta in four years, there won’t be enough left of it to scrape up off the sidewalk. Albertans, don’t make the terrible mistake federally that you made provincially.
commented 2015-10-01 22:40:40 -0400
The Left is comprised of 2 primary units one being sociopaths and the other the useful idiots they exploit as pawns in their diabolical ideology.
Truth doesn’t need to be dressed up just dusted off.
commented 2015-10-01 22:05:31 -0400
Dougie – if I could edit I would

The last line was inappropriate and I apologize
commented 2015-10-01 21:51:53 -0400
Dougie – what I stated is true – they will remember.

And they have been in many cases “forced” into the food banks.

I have had no truck with you for many reasons.

You have no idea what I do in my community and I would never disclose it to you – because you would find a way to abuse that knowledge.

As for you – well go on and live your entitled life.

You are dirt to me.
commented 2015-10-01 21:27:43 -0400
BRAVO ZULU said “forced into the food banks”

Now you see Mr Zulu , there’s the pride most Conservatives show when they think they are losing control…
Thank goodness for FOOD banks and the Volunteers, businesses and individuals who maintain them- Even the Grande Prairie Rally of oil patch workers this weekend plan to donate and help out the families in need – As I said in an earlier post Mr Zulu Albertans are good folks, tough regardless if we vote right, center or left – When the going gets tough the tough get going and we Albertans pull together for the common good!

So swallow your pride Mr Zulu and ask yourself what can I do to help someone in need?
“Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.”― Emily Brontë
commented 2015-10-01 21:08:49 -0400
People who once had jobs will not forget being forced into the food banks – of that you can be sure
commented 2015-10-01 20:44:47 -0400
KEITH BARNES history has shown in Alberta, when Albertans give mandates to political parties they give them lots of time to prove themselves – I would like to think Rachel Notley and her Government will receive the same chance to prove themselves and will likely be around longer than just 1 term. I am happy to see the Wildrose as opposition so I’m certain our new Government will do a great job!
commented 2015-10-01 20:03:50 -0400
This is just a normal state to be in, for Socialists. It is unfortunate that the People of Alberta will have to live with it for a while.
commented 2015-10-01 19:19:09 -0400
When the going gets tough Albertans get going – It makes no different if they are right or left – from past economic downturns Albetans have always worked together to help others – with room to spare for our Syrian (refugee) friends who need a place to live…
commented 2015-10-01 19:17:06 -0400
Jason R, was that comment a jab or something? You say you are a conservative, but post very much like a childish leftie.
commented 2015-10-01 18:59:36 -0400
Thank god some of those no good lefties and bleeding hearts set up these food banks to help in a difficult time.
commented 2015-10-01 18:35:47 -0400
And from the main stream………. Crickets. What a wreck