Rising Food Prices Challenge Canadians’ Thanksgiving Dinners

by Ella

As Canadians gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, the cost of traditional holiday meals has seen a significant increase, making it tougher for many families to enjoy the festivities without financial strain.

Statistics Canada reports a notable surge in food prices, with a 6.8 percent rise in August compared to the same month in 2022. This figure also reflects a staggering 17.3 percent increase from two years ago, emphasizing the growing burden on consumers’ wallets.


Charles Levkoe, an associate professor at Lakehead University, observes, “Things are getting worse, and too many people are struggling to make ends meet.”


In response to the soaring prices, some consumers have opted to exclude pricier items from their Thanksgiving menus, adjusting their traditional celebrations to fit tighter budgets.


Kim Wilhelm, interim CEO of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, notes that this year, many shoppers are diligently searching for ways to assemble an affordable Thanksgiving meal. However, it may not resemble the typical festive spread due to cost considerations.


The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has experienced a surge in demand, reporting a 30 to 40 percent increase in client requests this Thanksgiving compared to the previous year. Wilhelm underscores that the demand for food assistance remains high throughout the year, not limited to the holiday season.

Wilhelm emphasizes, “The reality is those accessing food assistance are accessing it 365 days a year, not just Thanksgiving.”

With the cost of groceries on the rise, many Canadians are hopeful that relief will come sooner rather than later. Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University projects a food inflation rate of approximately five percent by the end of this year, based on last year’s forecasts.

Despite the challenges posed by rising food prices, the community spirit remains strong. The Onkel Hans Food Drive returns for Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with volunteers collecting cash donations and non-perishable food items for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. This effort highlights the ongoing commitment to supporting those in need, particularly during times of economic strain.



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