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Inflation putting pressure on school breakfast program in Ottawa


The Ottawa Network for Education is among the organizations feeling the pinch of inflation.

"It means there are more students than ever before showing up at school, hungry and accessing the school breakfast program," said president and CEO Heather Norris.

Up to 17,000 meals are served through the program every school day and the cost has continued to increase. It's now costing about $25,000 a day, nearly double what it cost pre-pandemic.

"We continue to work with our partners across the province as well to try, where possible, to secure better rates or rebates with food partners to do the best we can to make the dollars go as far as possible," said Norris.

Canada's inflation rate slowed to 2.9 per cent in January—a larger drop than expected and driven largely by falling gas and airfare prices.

Grocery prices are still rising — but at a slower rate — up 3.4 per cent in January compared to 4.7 per cent in December.

"Well, they're not going up as fast, but they still went up. So you still have to pay more for them, which is pretty unfortunate," said Josh Koncovy.

"All dairy, all fruit, vegetables and the meat. Everything," said Georgette El-Hajjar of items that are still costing her more than they used to.

"Definitely in this day and age, you have to do comparison shopping, that's for sure," said Joanne Prudhomme.

As for the Ottawa Network for Education, it is doing what it can to keep up with demand.

"Certainly as food costs have increased and we have increasing participation in the program, as you can imagine, we are working very hard to fundraise to keep up with the demand of the program." Top Stories

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