Total visits dropped to 186,835 during the first three months of the year, a decline of 8 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to an update report, released Thursday.

Daily Bread credits several social policy changes for the drop, including an easing of provincial welfare rules over the past year, indexing of the Canada child benefit last July, and Ontario’s minimum wage boost to $14 on Jan. 1.

It is the first time food bank use has dropped during the first quarter — the post-holiday period when visits usually spike — since 2014, when Daily Bread began compiling data in this way, he noted.