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25 October 2023

872,000 Quebecers Helped by Food Banks Each Month

Hunger in Quebec sets a sad record this year. In its 2023 HungerCount, Food Banks of Quebec (FBQ) reveals that the network helps 872,000 people each month, an increase of 30% over 2022 and 73% over 2019. In 2023, the provincial food bank network responded to an unprecedented 2.6 million requests for food aid every month .

Based on socio-economic data from nearly 1,300 organizations served by FBQs, it is possible to establish that in just four years, the number of food baskets delivered each month has doubled, from 345,000 in 2019 to 682,000 in 2023. Organizations working directly with FBQs are unanimous: this is a historic situation.

“Our network is dealing with unprecedented demand. Food insecurity is at an all-time high, while the worrying economic context suggests even more difficult days ahead. We must collectively reflect on the actions we can take to concretely fight hunger. Our system can influence demand and fill the gaps in our social safety net, but to have a lasting impact in the fight against hunger in Quebec, public policies must be implemented.”

– Martin Munger, Executive Director, Food Banks of Quebec

A persistent food shortage in every part of Quebec

In this difficult economic climate, the FBQ network is finding that the profile of persons seeking food aid is diversifying. Increasingly, the number of employed people is also rising, reflecting the financial squeeze being felt by Quebec residents.

With so many more users, organizations in the FBQ network are facing exceptional and growing pressure, with 71% of them reporting a shortfall of food from their usual sources in 2023. Community organizations on the front lines are working hard but are exhausted. Without additional support, they risk outright breakdown of services. As the effects of the rising cost of living are increasingly felt, it is the most vulnerable who are paying the price. To cope with increased demand, the FBQ network needs urgent financial assistance.

“Our network does all it can to meet demand and help those in need. In addition to building an effective network over the years, we have implemented initiatives in collaboration with several partners to increase the volume of food we distribute. Unfortunately, this is not enough to help all those in need. We are appealing loud and clear to governments, but also to organizations and individuals in a position to support us: we need your help to meet urgent needs.”

– Martin Munger, Executive Director, Food Banks of Quebec

Hunger in Numbers:

  • Nearly 2.6 million requests for food aid each month, an increase of 14% since 2022, when there were over 2.2 million requests.
  • 872,000 people using the Quebec Food Banks network monthly in 2023, an increase of 30% compared to 2022 and 73% compared to 2019.
  • A 98% increase in food basket services (food assistance) since 2019, from 345,000 to 682,000 baskets delivered monthly.
  • 37% of food assistance applicants are adults living alone.
  • 45% of food assistance applicants are families with children.
    • Of these, 19% are single-parent households and 26% are two-parent households.
  • 71% of organizations reported a shortfall of foodstuffs from their usual sources of supply.
  • 55% of organizations had to make purchases to cope with the situation.
  • A 102% increase in the number of employed persons using food baskets between 2019 and 2023.