Food Banks Canada has released a report on how many people in Canada are experiencing financial hardship.

The study found that an estimated 25 per cent of people in the country are living in poverty.

According to the report, In March 2023, there were almost 2 million visits to food banks across Canada, representing a 32 per cent increase compared to March 2022, and a 78.5 per cent increase compared to March 2019, which is the highest year-over-year increase in usage ever reported.

Lynette Aschenbrenner, the executive director of the Wheatland County Food Bank says food assistance has increased drastically from this year compared to 2023.

"Last year we packed 832 hampers. Our fiscal year ends at the end of August. So far this year we've already done 757."

Aschenbrenner told us she's not surprised by the numbers from the report.

"Housing is unaffordable for our working poor. It is absolutely ridiculous what is going on right now."

According to Mardi Oel, the executive director of the Chestermere Food Bank, the organization is seeing more residents coming in for help because they can't afford to live comfortably.

"Their electric bills and their mortgage and food and fuel. So, we are getting a lot of new clients."

Oel says food hamper distribution alone has seen a huge increase as there was a spike in clients from February and April, "To the end of May we've had 456 people."

The food bank in Chestermere supports a wide variety of people who use their services, "Younger families, immigrants, we are seeing several Ukrainian families," added Oel.

For more information on the Food Banks Canada study, you can visit here.