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Food bank usage up in Toronto over summer due to instability caused by COVID-19: report

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TORONTO — A new report says food bank visits in Toronto climbed this summer because of economic instability caused by COVID-19.

The Daily Bread Food Bank says food bank visits grew by 22 per cent in June compared to the same period the year before, and then by 51 per cent in August compared to 2019.

The non-profit says it expects this year will see the highest number of food bank visits ever recorded in Toronto.

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The report says that before the COVID-19 pandemic, food bank use had already increased by five per cent compared to last year, with close to one million visits in Toronto — the same level as a peak seen following the 2008-09 financial crisis.

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The report also surveyed food bank clients, 85 per cent of whom say that they did not always have enough food to eat even after accessing food banks.

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Survey respondents also reported a median income of $892, less than half of the monthly income required to have a basic standard of living, based on official poverty line for Toronto.

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