A new report by the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) found a growing number of seniors and single people relying on food banks for hunger relief. Nearly 360,000 adults and children are using food banks each month across Ontario as food insecurity is becoming a reality for an increasing number in the province.

The new statistics were released Monday in the Ontario Hunger Report. The report reveals there were 10,000 more visits to provincial food banks in 2015 with 90 per cent of clients being renters or social housing tenants — a number that is four per cent higher than last year.

Kathleen Wynne pledged that if elected, she would become the “social justice premier.” But Ontarians surviving on low incomes are still going hungry, writes Desmond Cole.

“Social assistance is simply too low,” says Mike Balkwill … He points out that half of the people on welfare or disability supports rely on food banks. “People are being as generous as they can be,” Balkwill says, “but the government is relying on the goodwill and generosity of volunteers to do what the government needs to do.”

It’s “a little scary” that almost one million Canadians used a food bank in March of this year, according to the manager of the North Bay Food Bank.

Food, she said, is “usually the last thing on a person’s budget,” especially when money is tight.

“People are more concerned about keeping a roof over their heads,” she said, and after shelter is paid for, there is often little left for food.

“And various things always come up.”