On the left, a senior enjoys a lavish holiday meal, on the right, the same senior has only peanut butter on toast and a newspaper about rising inflation on the table

No one plans to retire without enough to get by. Many seniors living on a fixed income don’t have enough to afford basic necessities like rent, utilities, transportation, or food.

The comfortable retirement that so many Canadians thought they could look forward to is becoming increasingly more unstable. The decline in employer pension programs, barriers to accumulating personal savings, and the widening gap between income provided through government pension programs and the rising cost of living is resulting in more seniors falling into poverty. When their retirement savings and benefits fall short of meeting their monthly expenses, more seniors are turning to food banks for help.

  • Seniors are nearly twice as likely to need the assistance of a food bank on a long-term basis compared to adults under 65 years of age.
  • As of 2019, over 12% of Canadians over the age of 65 fall below the low-income measure.
  • 48% of food banks offer food to meet specific diet requirements and they provide opportunities for seniors to volunteer and build community.

Learn more about how hunger also affects workers, children, and people with disabilities, and the three ways you can help.

General Statistics:

  • 592,308 adults, seniors, and children accessed a food bank in Ontario between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 – an increase of 10% over the last year.
  • Last year was the largest single year increase in food bank use since the 2008 recession – when demand for food banks skyrocketed by 18%.
  • Ontario’s food banks were visited more than 3.6 million times throughout the last year, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year.
  • Feed Ontario supports 1,200 hunger relief organizations across the province and distributed more than 8 million pounds of food last year, 50% of this was fresh or frozen.
  • 91% of food banks provide services and programming beyond emergency food support.
  • Ontario’s food banks are seeing a 31% increase in the number of individuals accessing services when comparing January to June 2022 with the same pre-pandemic 6-month time period in 2019.