Nearly 60 per cent of Canadians find it difficult to feed their families, poll finds

A new poll has found that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians are having a hard time providing enough food for their families.

The poll from the Angus Reid Institute, released on Friday, shows that 57 per cent of Canadians reported having a difficult time feeding their family recently, an increase from 36 per cent when the question was last asked in 2019.

Inflation plays a role in this figure, the report indicates, as Canadians are dealing with the highest level of inflation in 30 years.

Data released on Wednesday from Statistics Canada found that items such as cooking oil (41.4 per cent) and white sugar (21.6 per cent) have already seen significant price spikes between December 2020 and December 2021.

The Angus Reid Institute also calculated the “Economic Stress Index (ESI),” which combines concern over debt, housing costs, household food costs, a participant’s financial situation compared to the past year and expectant financial situation next year and divides respondents into four categories: thriving, comfortable, uncomfortable and struggling.

Using the ESI, the Angus Reid Institute found that a whopping 98 per cent of those struggling find it difficult to feed their families.

“For those who are Thriving, food costs are manageable, or an afterthought,” the poll states. “For those who are Uncomfortable or Struggling, putting food on the table can be a substantial challenge.”

Those in the struggling category are not very optimistic about their future wealth either, as just 8 per cent indicated that they expect to be in better financial standing this time next year.

Overall, 27 per cent of respondents fell into the struggling category, compared to 24 per cent in each of the thriving and comfortable categories, and 25 per cent in the uncomfortable category.

“In Newfoundland and Labrador, where nearly half (45%) are classified as struggling, many are without jobs,” the poll notes. “The province’s unemployment rate was nearly double the national average in December, and oil production fell last year despite a rebound in energy prices.”

On the other side, Quebec had the highest proportion of residents considered as thriving (33 per cent) and the fewest considered struggling (19 per cent).

The poll also found that 39 per cent of Canadians believe their financial standing worsened in the past year, which marks the highest number of Canadians reporting a worse-off financial situation in the 13 years of tracking from the Angus Reid Institute.

Overall, people in Alberta (49 per cent), Saskatchewan (47 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (47 per cent) were most likely to report a worsening financial situation in the last year.

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