How a Regina family copes with the high cost of food

Rising food prices have left a Regina family struggling to make ends meet.

A Regina woman says even though she’s a two-earner, full-time family, the economy hasn’t been kind.

“With a family of five, two boys and a little girl, it’s a very busy family. So we do a lot of sales. We keep an eye on the things we need and stop buying the things we like. We buy what we can afford. It’s not always easy, but we make it work. We have to put food on the table somehow,” Alisa Planeto said.

“We’re not doing a lot of crazy inventory by any means. We buy according to our needs. There aren’t always many full cupboards. It’s always the sales. You have to monitor, check your flyers a lot. Use coupons if you can.

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Statistics Canada showed inflation was up 3.3 percent year-over-year in July, while food prices were up 8.5 percent.

Planeto says they’ve had to make some adjustments to help manage the cost of living.

“We replace the essentials all the time, what you need, not what you like. Simple things like bacon and stuff the boys like for breakfast aren’t always on the table because an $8 pack of bacon is a lot, you can’t afford that anymore for a family of five people,” Planeto said.

Although inflation is a major factor affecting food prices, utility bills and rent, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage of $18 per hour also contributes greatly to food insecurity in the province. . according to the Regina Food Bank.

According to Regina Food Bank vice-president David Froh, demand for the food bank has increased by 40 per cent since last year.

Froh says there has been an increase in the number of families with full-time jobs using the food bank in recent months.

“The fastest growing user group we see is people who work full time. But the fact is, when food increases 9 percent year over year, when rent increases almost 15 percent year over year, if you work full time at salary minimum, unfortunately, you’re probably coming to the food bank,” Froh said.

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According to the Regina Food Bank, one in eight families and one in five children are food insecure. This means that more than 25,000 people need help.

Froh says there has been record demand for food bank services, with more than 15,000 people using the food bank this month alone.

In an effort to find a solution to the ever-rising food prices, the federal government is meeting with executives from Canada’s five largest grocery chains to discuss ways to stabilize food prices.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given grocery chains until October to develop plans to stabilize food prices. He added that if they did not do so, Ottawa could be forced to take action against them.

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