TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s hard to swallow the fact that the majority (64%) of the one million monthly Canadian food bank users are individuals living on their own or single parents supporting a family alone1. In its commitment to help tackle food insecurity, Catelli pasta has launched Giving Feels Good, commissioning a survey to take a pulse on food bank users, perceptions and the struggle for single adults.
“The 16 food banks we’re supporting this year are doing incredible work in their communities to combat Canada’s food crisis,” says Alistair Senn, Senior Brand Manager at Catelli Food Corporation. “Food insecurity doesn’t discriminate. The need in the spring and summer is high, which is why Catelli has pledged to donate one million portions of pasta to our food bank partners.”
Wholesome pasta is one of the top 10 items food banks need due to its nutritional value as a complex carb, and because it appeals to people with various cultural backgrounds.
Henry Chiu, Director of Development and Marketing at North York Harvest Food bank, is at the forefront of the crisis and knows only too well the severity of the issue. “In the last decade alone, we’ve seen a 61% increase in food bank usage in the inner suburbs in Toronto,” he comments. “What’s more, 38% of our users have a post-secondary degree – a rising demographic, many would never associate with food insecurity.”
“The number of food bank users is on the rise in our community, particularly amongst children and seniors who are increasingly turning to us for support,” adds Cynthia Boulter, Chief Development Officer at Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. “While the cost of living rises, many people are having to choose a roof over their head over being able to purchase nutritious food.”
Canada’s hunger crisis isn’t going anywhere as an astounding number of Canadians admit to missing a meal in the last year alone, because they simply couldn’t afford to buy anything.
Catelli’s Giving Feels Good research uncovered the reality many Canadians are facing when it comes to their daily struggle to put food on the table.
The Catelli survey revealed:
- One-in-five Canadians have turned to a food bank at least once in their life.
- In the last 12 months, one-in-five Canadians have skipped a meal, because they couldn’t afford to buy anything. Additionally, millennials are more likely to have skipped a meal due to financial woes, with almost one-third of Canadians aged 18-34 admitting they have done so in the last year alone.
- Most Canadians (85%) are grateful to regularly have family or friends join them for meals, but when they are left to eat alone, half admit they turn to convenient, less healthy foods.
- The majority (63%) of Canadians are upset one-third of food bank users are children, but admit they don’t know how to make a real difference.
- More than one-quarter of Canadians agree that if they were turning to a food bank when they were hungry, social media would make them feel insecure about not having the money to feed themselves.
The food struggle is real across the country
- In the west, the current economic climate is having a drastic affect with some food banks seeing 150-250 new families needing their services each month.2
- In Quebec there’s a disproportionate number of singles turning to food banks, with more than 50% of requests coming from single adult households. This result means, more than 250,000 single adults/parents are turning to them each month.3
- In eastern Canada, almost one-in-five (18%) food bank users are employed, but still require assistance as they struggle to make ends meet.4
The growing reality of having nobody to turn to for support
The notion of loneliness amongst food bank users is a harsh reality for 640,000 single Canadians5. While 76% admit they would get involved if someone they knew couldn’t afford to feed themselves or their kids, one-third claim that if they needed help, they don’t feel they could turn to their family or friends. This result demonstrates that Canadians are eager to help their neighbours, yet the stigma surrounding food insecurity may prevent people from raising their hand.
From single, working parents to adults trying to make ends meet on their own, to seniors with a shrinking income, food bank users come from all walks of life and many were previously food secure. In fact, food banks are increasingly seeing those who are currently employed, have a post-secondary education or are highly skilled in their field, turn to them for support.
Catelli’s commitment to combating food insecurity in Canada
Ignoring the food crisis in Canada won’t make it go away, which is why, for the 11th year, Catelli has pledged to donate one million portions of pasta to those in need adding to the nine million portions donated since the program began in 2009.
For every box of Catelli pasta purchased between April 15 and May 31, 2019, Catelli will donate a serving of pasta to local food banks across Canada.
Pasta donations will be made to Catelli’s longstanding local food bank partners: Calgary Food Bank, Edmonton's Food Bank, FEED Nova Scotia, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Greener Village Community Food Centre, Hamilton Food Share, London and Area Food Bank, Moisson Montréal, Moisson Québec, North York Harvest Food Bank, Ottawa Food Bank, Project Share, Regina & District Food Bank Inc., Saskatoon Food Bank & Resource Centre and Winnipeg Harvest.
Find out more about how Canadians can help make a difference by visiting Catelli.ca/givingfeelsgood and following #GivingFeelsGood on social media.
About Catelli Foods Corporation
Catelli® Foods Corporation is the largest marketer and distributor of pasta and second largest marketer and distributor of rice in Canada. The company was founded in Montréal, QC in 1867 by Carlo Onorato Catelli, an Italian immigrant who began the business by making macaroni and vermicelli by hand. Now, 152 years later, Catelli® pasta is ranked the #1 Canadian pasta brand and is the leader in the health and wellness pasta segment, while Catelli’s Minute Rice® brand is the leader in the instant rice segment. The operation has grown to include other well-known pasta and sauce brands such as, Lancia®, No Yolks®, Olivieri®, Splendor®, Giovani Panzani®, Healthy Harvest® and Ronzoni®. Headquartered in Montréal, Québec, Catelli is part of the Ebro Foods, S.A. group, the leading company in the Spanish food processing sector, being the world’s largest trader of rice and second biggest producer of pasta.
An online survey of 1539 Canadians was completed between March 8-11, 2019, using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5% out of 20.
1 The Hunger Count Report | Food Banks Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2019, from https://hungercount.foodbankscanada.ca/national-overview/
2 Data from Regina Food Bank (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2019
3 BILAN-FAIM Québec 2018 (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2019, from https://www.banquesalimentaires.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Bilan-Faim-2018-LesBAQ.pdf
4 Data from Greener Village (formerly The Fredericton Food Bank) (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2019
5 The Hunger Count Report | Food Banks Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2019, from https://hungercount.foodbankscanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/HungerCount2018_p.pdf