Daily Bread Food Bank's Annual Report on Hunger in Toronto
Key Demographics of Survey Respondents
Percent of those not born in Canada who have been in Toronto four years or less:
The number of recent newcomers coming to food banks in Toronto has decreased substantially since 2008. The increased cost of
housing in Toronto may mean it is no longer an “arrival city” for newcomers.
Since the recession, people are having a harder time climbing out of poverty. The average length of time coming to a food bank has
doubled from 1 year to 2 years since 2008.
Median length of time coming to a food bank
Trends in income support have changed in the last several decades. The nature of work has shifted from full time employment to
more part-time, casual employment. Employment based long term disability coverage has become less common, and more rely on
social assistance for support when a disability arises.
As the gaps in the social safety net become wider, the burden of cost is shifted to the individual – to the point where people go hungry to make ends meet.
Top things people skipped meals for
The most common issue faced by food bank clients in Toronto, regardless of all else, is the per cent of their income they spend on their rent. It is the most pressing, non-negotiable expense, from which other necessities, including food, are sacrificed. For many clients coming to the food bank is the only way they are able to eat at all while maintaining their housing. For those receiving social assistance, being able to afford a place to live in Toronto is next to impossible without encroaching into money allotted for all other basic needs.
Percentage of income spent on rent and utilities:
Since 2008, the geographic distribution of food bank visits has changed drastically in Toronto. The inner suburbs have seen a 45 per cent increase, while the city core has seen a 16 per cent decrease during the same period. Overall, demand across the city is 12 per cent higher than 2008. Seven years after the recession, Toronto residents still struggle with precarious work, eroding social assistance rates, and rapidly rising costs of living.