Eric (not his real name) and his wife currently find themselves in a situation many Canadian families are experiencing. The high cost of groceries has forced them to struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table.

Food Insecurity

As someone who has always battled the challenges life has put in his way, Eric is proud of often overcoming adversity. He’s previously worked in many capacities, first as a delivery driver and most recently driving a bus. However, his doctors discovered he had a heart condition, leaving him unable to work.

Due to their financial challenges, Eric and his wife sought assistance from the Salvation Army food bank in Grand Prairie, Alta.

“The cost of living right now is just way too high,” Eric says. “I never thought I would see the day when I would have to come to the food bank to put food on my table.” 

In addition to getting assistance from the food bank, Eric has had to cut back on other things to ensure he and his wife have enough income to cover rent and food. Without the food bank’s help, he is unsure if his family would be eating enough.

Reaching Out

This is the case for many Canadians. According to a recent survey by The Salvation Army, 73 percent of Canadians faced food security challenges in 2023, and 43 percent of Canadians who visited a food bank last year were accessing it for the first time.

Despite this being the first time Eric has had to access the food bank, it isn’t the first time he has been in contact with the Army. Years ago, while living in Calgary, Eric had problems with alcohol and addiction. The Salvation Army helped him get his life back on track. This is why he knew they would be there for him once again.

“The Army reached out to me, and they got me into the AA meetings. I always feel I owe them a debt of gratitude for what they did for me,” Eric says.

“Being There for Us”

To express his gratitude, Eric supports the organization whenever he can contribute.

“I give to the food bank every year at Christmas,” he says. “And I’ve been involved in campaigns and food drives for the Salvation Army food bank.”

While times may be tough, Eric is not giving up. As he slowly gets back on his feet, he plans to embark on a new career path. He hopes to become a certified addiction and community support worker, to help others facing similar struggles he experienced in the past.

For now, he and his wife remain patient and thankful for the food bank’s support keeping them afloat.

“I greatly appreciate The Salvation Army for helping me out and for being there for us,” Eric says.

Leave a Comment