As food prices continue to rise in Canada, more people are looking for cheaper options at the grocery store and cutting down on certain items.
Rakesh Batel, owner of Upper Village Market in Kitchener, said he is noticing that people are buying less stuff.
“People look at the cost. If it’s not good enough for their budget, they avoid it.”
Buttel said that even though people are not buying as much, sales have not come down due to rising cost of food.
“The volume capacity is low, but when the price is high, the sales volume is almost the same,” Battel said.
A recent report by Statistics Canada found that food inflation in the country has reached 7.4 percent, and that number is likely to rise.
The Food Bank of the Waterloo area said there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of people accessing its services in the past year.
“Now more than ever, financial pressures are putting so much pressure on households that they have to choose between paying rent or buying groceries,” said Kim Wilhelm with Food Bank. “We welcomed more than 740 new families who used food services for the first time.”
‘Our community is struggling’
To help with food insecurity, the community fridge KW has reopened.
The fridge located outside Kitchener Market is open 24 hours a day and people can take fresh food from it when they need it.
“Take what you need, leave what you can. It’s as simple as that, really,” said Kamil Ahmed, organizer of Community Fridge KW. “It’s really important for mutual aid demonstrations, like Community fridges exist in urban settings where we know many people are struggling to access food items and other services.”
Ahmed said that since its creation in August 2020, there has been an increase in the number of people using community fridges.
“Usage and need have increased, and partly because of the rise in prices,” Ahmed said. “But generally, the pandemic and the last few years have created that need as well. So there are a lot of things in play that tell us that our community is struggling. ,