Food Cost, Availability, and Eating Local

The vital role of food banks

Share This Article:

There’s hunger and need even in a country as wealthy as Canada, with Canadians making more than 1.4 million food bank visits every month. Various circumstances can lead people to turn to food banks, including inflation and unemployment, but even
the number of full and part-time workers who require access to food banks is growing, with one in seven people who access these services being employed.

Farmers donate generously to food banks

About 40 per cent of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh, such as milk, eggs, meat, and produce. Much of that food is donated by Canadian farmers. Many provincial and national farm organizations have regular food bank donation programs, including grain, fruit, vegetable, egg, dairy, pork, beef, turkey and chicken farmers.

Why some food products are more expensive than others

Some food products, such as heirloom produce or livestock and certain poultry species grown to serve the needs of niche markets are more expensive than standard food products. That’s because they grow more slowly, yield less or are more labour-intensive to produce because they require more specialized care. Certified organic products are also generally more expensive. Organic farming methods tend to be more labour-intensive and organic food products are grown, processed, and packaged at smaller volumes, which increases costs. Organic meat, dairy and eggs can be more expensive than conventional products because farmers must feed only certified organic feed, for example, and must use certified organic dairies and abattoirs for processing. You can read more about organic farming on page 17.