The federal government announced $2.5 billion dollars for a one time grocery rebate that will help out 11 million low-income Canadians during the 2023 budget. This means eligible couples with two children will receive a payment of up to $467, a senior would get $225 and a single person would receive $234.
Mac Nichol, the executive director of the Lethbridge Food Bank says the organization has seen an increase of 70 client households a month compared to 2022. He told us this money from the feds is a very small drop in the bucket.
“This funding is a little disappointing, to be honest. I know that the government likes to refer to this as a grocery rebate, but in all intents and purposes, it’s the same as what they did last year with the GST rebates, and it’s just the one time kind of top up on the GST rebates. It’s not really affiliated to grocery shopping or anything like that. And it really doesn’t match the 10 per cent inflation we see across the board in grocery stores. With what they did last year with that increase in GST funding, we didn’t see an effect in our clients, or at least a positive one. We didn’t reduce at all. So I would assume the same this year.”
According to Stats Canada, food prices rose 11.4 per cent year-over-year in January. That is nearly double the 5.9 per cent inflation rate.