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Advising the Community: Edmonton Food Bank

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Cory Chan

on 22 September 2015

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Transcript of Advising the Community: Edmonton Food Bank

90% or survey respondents have lived in Edmonton for more than 12 months
63% of Respondents Live in the North
Citizenship & Family Status of Food Bank Clients
88% of Respondents are Canadian. The remaining 12% of respondents identified as living in Canada on a work or student Visa, having landed immigrant status or claimed refugee status.

34% of Canadians self identified as aboriginal.
35% of respondents are single parents.

The remaining 65% were families. On average a family is comprised of four people, including 2 children. The average age of our adult clients is 41, while the average age of children are 10 years old.

Of those who have been in Edmonton less than 12 months, 43% came from other parts of Alberta, 26% came from other provinces, and 28% from outside of Canada.

Edmonton Food Bank clients reside in all parts of the City, however the vast majority of respondents live on the north side of the city.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
42% of respondents have some post secondary level education
Education does not guarantee food security
Advising the Community Together (ACT): Edmonton Food Bank
Annual household income for 2014
Additional Income Required
4 in 10 survey respondents reported that an additional $500 or less each month would help to make them food secure and not have to depend on the Edmonton Food Bank.
33% of respondents indicated their income had decreased compared to last year.
More than 50% of Income is Spent on Rent
Clients who made less than $25,000 annual household income in 2014 responded that they spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities.
“I am currently taking care of my friend’s children and do not have enough money for food.”
Annual income dropping
Survey participants discussed how their income in the current year compared to that of last year. The results show a negative trend. 1 in 3 responded that their income has decreased.
Need for More Subsidized Housing
Respondents were asked if they lived in subsidized housing, as well as if they are on a wait list for subsidized housing. The results show that a significant number of individuals do not live in and are not on the wait list for subsidized housing.
Why more people need the Food Bank
Primary reasons for coming to the Edmonton Food Bank
Guaranteed food security is not a current reality for most clients
Average Monthly Expenditures
A typical mortgage payment in Canada is limited by Banks to 28% of clients total income earned.
Edmonton Food Bank clients are devoting more than 50% of their income towards rent.

Edmonton Food Bank clients pay nearly 3x more in rent than any other expense
58% of survey respondents indicated they cut back on food
When asked about cutbacks, survey respondents revealed that they are giving up food in order to afford a roof over their heads and other basic needs.
Income does not last through the month
The survey asked which week does money generally run out.
23% of clients run out of money in the first week
"I have stolen from supermarkets in the past when we are running short on food"

How Do People Survive?
An overwhelming majority of respondents turn to friends and family for support.
6 out of 10 people rely on friends and family when they don't have enough income to get them through the month
Children are a priority
20% of respondents indicated that they go without food for 2-5 days each month.

Additionally, 13% of respondents stated that their children regularly miss meals on a monthly basis.
One in three adults skip a meal for their child
More than 50% of clients with poor health are not able to afford adequate nutrition.
Survey respondents were asked to rate the health of their families in addition to their own.

56% did not consider themselves to be healthy.
When asked to consider stress levels, over 50% of respondents admitted to having more stress than last year.
Social Service Agencies
70% of Edmonton Food Bank clients are not connected to any other social service agency in the city
Questions were asked to gauge interest on possible services:
40% of the Edmonton Food Bank clients are children
Food Bank Clients Rent vs Market Rent
On average, respondents are spending less then $300 per month on rent. When compared to annual household income, Edmonton Food Bank clients are making significantly lower than the average per Census Canada.
*Rent for a two bedroom dwelling
*Survey Respondents who were 50 years or older, spent an average of $306 per month in medical related expenses
**Based on total number of responses towards expenses, not survey population as a whole.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Advising the Community Together (ACT):
Edmonton Food Bank

The Edmonton Food Bank has played a long standing role within the Edmonton community for over 30 years. As stewards in the collection of surplus and donated food for the effective distribution, free of charge to those in need, the Edmonton Food Bank has developed several strategic goals, one of which being "to reduce the dependence of our clients on the Food Bank and enhance their food security".

With the help of Deloitte Inc., a survey was developed and administered to 402 individuals to create an enhanced understanding of the clients served by the Edmonton Food Bank and ultimately understand where gaps in services exist. The survey took place between May-June 2015 at various depots throughout the City of Edmonton. During this time, respondents were asked a series of 65 questions (taking approximately 20 minutes to complete each survey); each survey was conducted one-on-one with each client by trained Food Bank staff members, volunteers and Social Work students.
Sources* of income
* Respondents have multiple sources of income; therefore the total is more than 100%
Total funding recieved by the Edmonton Food Bank for 2014 was $20.6 million:
$17.43M from food donations-in-kind
$3.183M from additional sources of funding
$17K grant received from the City of Edmonton

The $17K from the City of Edmonton was the
public funding received in 2014.
Partnerships are required
The survey identified gaps within 2 critical areas where additional support and assistance is required by the Edmonton Food Bank: Funding for
food services and


While the Edmonton Food Bank is doing what they can, more help is required to address these gaps.

The Food Bank Is 85% Privately Funded

Individuals who had some form of post secondary compared with those who did not graduate from high school, revealed a 2:1 ratio.
Health and Wellness
How can we fill the gaps?

Edmonton Food Bank clients have a strong desire to move away from
What can you do to help?
During the first 6 month of 2015, the Edmonton Food Bank provided food services to over 15,500 individuals.

Approximately 13,690 individuals per month were served by the Edmonton Food Bank in 2013, illustrating a 13.8% increase in only 18 months.
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