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Food bank usage in Ottawa–Vanier higher than anywhere else in Ontario

It found that 15 per cent of residents in Ottawa–Vanier visited a food bank in 2018 — more than 16,500 people. It was the riding with the highest per capita number of visits in the entire province.Three ridings in the city — Ottawa–Vanier, Ottawa South and Ottawa West–Nepean — were among the 10 across the province with the most food bank users per capita.A combined 35,550 people went to food banks in those ridings at least once last year.

Cynthia Greer lives around the corner from Partage Vanier Food Bank. She and her partner have lately been visiting the food bank about twice a month.She’s not surprised to hear her neighbourhood made the top of the list.”It’s a lot of low-income families,” she said, adding that the cost of groceries has gone up and social programs haven’t kept up.”You still have to pay your rent, you still have to pay your bills, so at the end of the day food ends up being a luxury.”

She gets fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, beef, pasta, canned goods, bread, cereal, peanut butter and some toiletries at the food bank. It’s not enough to get through the whole month, she said, but it helps.She comes toward the end of each month, and her partner visits at the beginning.”In the last little while, they have literally saved us,” Greer said.There are between 800 and 1,000 people like her who get food each month at Portage Vanier.

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