When people fall on hard times, they often think the government will be there to help.
However, a new study from the School of Public Policy shows a lot of the burden falls to the non-government sector, too.
The study shows that for every 100 social assistance caseloads, there are, on average, an additional 57 clients at the food bank.
Report co-author Ron Kneebone explains it even extends further than that.
“A similar analysis would show there’s a close connection between the state of the economy and the demand for services from women’s shelters, homeless shelters etcetera,” said Kneebone.
This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who uses these services is on social assistance or vice versa.
Calgary Food Bank CEO James McAra believes more collaboration with the government would help.
“The organizations that don’t receive government funding and do a great job in the community, such as the Calgary Food Bank, we’re not engaged in the conversation and yet we’re referred to when we look at how we are doing in the community,” said McAra.
But he says there’s no question Calgarians give with their hearts.