Food insecurity in the region appears to be spiking during the state of emergency, with York Region Food Bank seeing a 50 per cent increase in first-time food bank users since it began.

That figure is expected to increase as more people are impacted by job losses, reduced income or illness, according to a news release.

“When the first pandemic wave hit, it was a bit chaotic. We had never experienced this before, and we didn’t know what to expect. As the days went by and things started to look worse, there was a definite increase across our network of the number of people experiencing hunger,” Alex Bilotta, the food bank’s founder and CEO, said.