Tamara Baluja

While the overall number of visits dropped by 9 per cent, GTA food banks had 1.2 million visits in the fiscal year 2011, a sign of “how desperate things had become for an unacceptably high number of people,” the report released on Wednesday said.

The Daily Bread report also found that job losses and an inability to find work are driving more people with higher education to the food banks, with the percentage of food bank users with a university or postgraduate degree rising to 28 per cent in 2011 from 21 per cent in 2006. Of those, 63 per cent were newcomers to Canada.

It’s not easy keeping a job as a newcomer, even if qualified, said Ratna Omidvar, president of the diversity advocacy group Maytree. “If you are the last hire, then you are the first to get fired. Many of these parents are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, and sometimes money runs out and you are forced to look at alternatives.”

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Reference: Globe and Mail

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