Quebec proclaims one other $6 million for meals banks
The provincial government is offering $6 million of emergency aid to food banks across Quebec, which are dealing with a serious increase in demand as the holiday season approaches and inflation continues to put pressure on household finances.
Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for social solidarity and community action, and agriculture minister André Lamontagne made the announcement on Sunday in Sherbrooke.
Rouleau acknowledged that we are in a difficult period where hunger is being felt more and more, largely due to the rise in food prices.
According to Statistics Canada inflation data, food prices in October were up 11 per cent relative to the previous year.
Sunday’s announcement brings the government’s total investment in the Banques alimentaires du Québec network to $11 million this year.
Banques alimentaires du Québec general manager Martin Munger greeted the news as “an early Christmas present.”
He said the funds will allow food banks to buy more goods, which they can then distribute to families in need. It will also allow them to improve their facilities so as to better store food.
One of the network’s meals projects is to cook and transform certain perishable items into frozen, Munger said, so that they can be stored for longer. To do that, better facilities are needed, which is why the government’s announcement was so warmly greeted.
Rouleau said the money was part of “long-term” support to help distribution centers modernize their infrastructure.
Despite his enthusiasm, Munger was far less upbeat in describing the current situation in Quebec.
According to Banques alimentaires du Québec data, more than 2.2 million requests for food aid are presented each month in the province, which is a significant increase since last year.
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