Ottawa church giving free groceries to families amid rising inflation
As a pastor, Alex Osorio has likely delivered sermons about turning water into wine and multiplying fish and loaves of bread.
Those stories about feeding thousands are Sunday school staples. But with inflation hitting a three-decade high, the need for a miracle doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
That’s why Osorio’s Ottawa church, “Fire of God,” is giving away groceries for free.
"We're hearing a lot of stories of people going through a difficult, difficult, difficult time,” he said. “And we're just happy that we're able to provide a lending hand.”
The heavily-stocked room at the church is helping local families fight rising costs of ballooning grocery bills. Osorio says on a busy week, his church will help feed around a thousand families.
Canada’s inflation rate rose to 6.7 per cent in March, the highest in 31 years.
Statistics Canada is reporting an 8.7 per cent jump at grocery stores, with eggs and dairy seeing their largest annual increase since 1983.
Much of the rising inflation is being blamed on gas prices, which rose nearly 40 per cent compared to the same month as last year.
The cost of homes—and furnishing them—is also going up. With three kids and a housing upgrade, Laura Caughey and her husband are spending a small fortune.
"Probably about $25,000 on furniture. But we moved from a really small house downtown to a much larger house,” she said.
Many economists say that inflation will settle down at some point, especially with interest rates expected to keep rising. But for someone like Rosemary Bordenuk, it may be too late.
She lives on disability cheques and has been relying on free food from the church for close to three years.
"Meat is a very harsh essential. But even the vegetables -- vegetables are very high priced and everything,” she said.