More Ontario seniors using food banks: report

The face of foodbanks in Ontario is getting older, but it’s a trend London is appears to be ahead of.

Hunger Report 2018, A Looming Crisis: Senior Hunger in Ontario was released Monday.

The report from the Ontario Association of Food Banks says the use of food banks by seniors increased by ten per cent in 2018 over the previous year.

Officials at the London Food Bank say seniors using their service increased by eight per cent in 2017, and by five per cent this year.

Executive Director Jane Roy says it’s a result of the population getting older, and people living longer.

What’s even more concerning, she says, is that many Canadians don’t have a financial plan for their retirement, and this could leave them vulnerable in their golden years.

The report also says seniors are twice as likely to need help from their food bank on an ongoing basis, with 25 per cent of seniors visiting a food bank more than 12 times a year, compared to 13 per cent of those under 65.

The report says with the vast majority of senior food bank users living in rental or social housing, the increase may also partly be due to soaring housing costs.

Despite the rise in the number of seniors needing hunger relief, the overall half-million people using the service from April 2017 to March 2018 is only up slightly from the previous year.

With files from The Canadian Press