The Edmonton Food Bank is there for when people are in dire need of assistance with finding food, and the facility has been happy to oblige. However, the Food Bank has noticed a worrying trend over the past few years, seeing the amount of people that are using the charitable service increase. On top of that, they’re finding some startling statistics about the education and work backgrounds of the people that have been coming in.
According to the Food Bank, the amount of people that have requested assistance has jumped by several thousand over the past few years. What Marjorie Bencz of the Edmonton Food Bank also found is that the rise in people that are making less than $25,000 per year has been climbing, with many not finding work at all. Nearly half of the Food Bank recipients have been without work for at least three consecutive years, while those that do have employment are mainly on a part-time basis only.
It was also found that almost half of the people getting assistance have education that goes beyond high school, but are having troubles with getting full-time employment. Bencz says that while helping people receive food is the Food Bank’s goal, there are other ways of helping to lower the numbers of people that are receiving assistance. She says that helping those find employment is the biggest key in reducing Food Bank demand.
“Providing people with the support and skills to pave the way to more stable and higher paying employment is critical to changing these numbers,” Bencz said. “We are pleased to hear that interest is high for the services of our Beyond Food program, such as safety tickets, job search support, English and math upgrading.” If the program expands in the coming years, the Edmonton Food Bank could be responsible for lowering the unemployment rates in the city, as well as the amount of people that are living above the poverty line.