1 in 10 Quebecers turned to food banks during COVID-19 pandemic, half for the first time: survey

Two months after the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 10 per cent of Quebecers have had to turn to a food bank for themselves or their family, according to a survey released Thursday from the Grande guignolée des médias.

As many as 650,000 Quebecers asked for help from food banks -- including 322,000 for the first time.Among them, 63 per cent have had to use food bangs regularly or occasionally.

Data from the survey conducted by Synopsis Research Marketing showed that 18 per cent of Quebecers will only be able to feed their families for a month after the end of current government assistance programs and 26 per cent expect to get help from someone close to them in the coming months.

Some 14 per cent of Quebecers consider it very likely or somewhat likely that they’ll need to use a food bank.

The survey also reveals that more Quebecers would be resigned to cutting back on food, as well as hygiene products, prescription drugs and mortgage or rent.

Using food banks seems to be a source of embarrassment for many Quebecers; 52 per cent of people polled said they would be a little or not at all comfortable having to go there.

Likewise, the survey shows that 53 per cent of respondents would be little or not at all comfortable telling relatives that they had asked for this type of help.

The Grande guignolée des médias, which has taken place in December for several years, was launched again this year on April 20. Its organizers said that it has raised over $1 million in one month for the benefit of some 70 food banks in Quebec.

The Synopsis Research Marketing survey was conducted online from May 8 to 11 among 1,000 Quebec adults.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 21, 2020.

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