How one Regina family is coping with the high cost of food

The hike in food prices has left one Regina family struggling to make ends meet.

A Regina woman says despite being a family with two full-time incomes, the economy has not been favorable.

“As a family of five, two boys and a little girl, it’s a busy family.  So, we shop a lot of sales. We keep an eye on the things that we need, and don’t buy the things we like anymore. We buy what we can afford.  It’s not always easy, but we make it work. We have got to put food on the table one way or another,” Alisa Planeto said.

“We don’t do a lot of crazy stock-up by any means. We buy as we need it. There’s not a lot of full cupboards all the time. It’s always sales. You got to watch, check your fliers a lot. Use coupons if you can.”

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

Planeto says they have had to make a few adjustments to help manage the cost of living.

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

While inflation is a major factor affecting the prices of food, utility bills and rent, the minimum wage in Saskatchewan, which is at $18 an hour, is also a major contributor to food insecurity in the province. according to the Regina Food Bank.

According to the vice-president of the Regina Food Bank, David Froh, the demand for the food bank went up 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 the last few months.

“The fastest growing group of users we see are people who work full time. But the fact is, when food is up 9 per cent year-over-year, when rent is up almost 15 per cent year-over-year, if you’re working full-time making minimum wage, sadly, you’re probably coming to the food bank,” Froh said.

According to the Regina Food Bank one in eight families in Regina and one in five kids are food insecure. That means over 25,000 people need support.

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

In a bid to find a solution to the consistent hike in grocery prices, the federal government is meeting with the heads of Canada’s five biggest grocery chains to discuss ways to stabilize food prices.

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau has given the grocery chains until October to come up with plans to stabilize food prices. He said if they don’t, Ottawa may be forced to take action against them.

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