When single mom Maureen O’Malley goes to the grocery store, she’s stuck with some difficult choices. Should she buy fresh fruit or chicken? Fresh produce or yogurt tubes for her kids?

“I’ve pretty much forgotten what organic is, which is too bad, because I’d love to maintain healthy diet choices for my kids. But it becomes more of what’s on sale, rather than what I’d prefer to buy for them,” O’Malley said. “I shop very frugally and our diet is starting to show — we eat way too much rice and pasta.”

O’Malley says food often comes last, after all the other bills are paid. When she does shop for food, she always has to compromise.

“I swallowed my pride and went to the food bank,” said O’Malley, who has been using the Port Coquitlam location for only a few months.

O’Malley appreciates the help from the food bank, but said it takes several hours because there are so many people in line. Her number for the week when she was interviewed for this story was 158.