Food Banks Canada has released its Poverty Report Card, and Alberta is tied for the worst mark.

According to the report, Alberta received a D- when averaging four different factors, legislative progress (F), material deprivation (D+), poverty measures (D-) and experience of poverty (D-). Alberta saw a slight drop in the report card compared to last year when Alberta was given a D.

Each of those factors is broken down into multiple questions asked on a survey about how Albertans feel when it comes to political policies and if there is help if needed.

Approximately 45 per cent of Albertans, according to the research, spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. According to the report, 44 percent of Canadians believe their financial situation has worsened since last year.

Alberta was tied with multiple other provinces for the worst ranking on the report card.

AirdrieScreenshot provided by a Food Banks Canada Poverty Report Card.

According to the Airdrie Food Bank, here are some steps that need to be taken to help address poverty in our province:

  1. Implement Rent Stabilization: Introduce rent stabilization policies to protect tenants from sudden and excessive rent increases, ensuring more predictable and affordable housing costs.
  2. Affordable Housing Initiatives: Invest in constructing and maintaining affordable housing units to alleviate the housing crisis and provide secure homes for low-income families.
  3. Restore E.I. and Disability Benefits: Reinstate and increase Employment Insurance (EI) and disability benefits to support vulnerable populations, ensuring they have adequate financial assistance during times of need.
  4. Support for Seasonal Workers: Develop programs that offer income stability for seasonal workers, such as extended EI benefits and job training opportunities, to help them secure year-round employment.
  5. Control Costs of Essentials: Implement measures to manage and reduce the rising costs of groceries, energy, and gas. This could include subsidies, price controls, or support for local food production and renewable energy sources.
  6. Strengthen Government Advocacy: Both provincial and federal governments must actively advocate for policies that address poverty. This includes increased funding for social programs, stronger labour laws, and partnerships with community organizations to support those in need.

"These policy changes are crucial for creating a more equitable and sustainable future for all Albertans. By addressing the root causes of poverty and implementing comprehensive support systems, we can significantly improve our communities' well-being and economic stability," stated the food bank.

Christine Taylor, Marketing Communication Manager for the Airdrie Food Bank stated people are having to use funds that that might not necessarily meant to buy food to do just that.

"When people do get their CERB payments, EI or disability payments, people use that money to purchase food. But if they don't have those, it's it's something that they come to us for.

Taylor also mentioned the Airdrie Food Bank is still seeing over 600 families a week coming to them for help.

"It's families that are new to Canada, new to Airdrie, even two-income families. People that just cannot make ends meet."

She finished off by thanking everybody who has shown support to the Airdrie Food Bank as it is very appreciated. Taylor also mentioned you never really know who you are helping out, it could even be your neighbour.

To see the full report, click HERE.

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