Volunteers at a food bank
iStock / dragana991

While inflated gas prices may be most visible, it’s the rising cost of food that’s biting the finances of most Canadian households, according to new research from Statistics Canada.

In a survey carried out from April 19 to May 1, nearly 75% of Canadians reported that rising prices are affecting their ability to meet day-to-day expenses.

Rising food costs, which are up 9.7% annually in April, were cited most frequently by respondents (43%). Food costs were followed buy transportation (32%), shelter (9%) and household expenses (8%).

Amid rising food prices, 20% reported that their households are likely to turn to community organizations — such as food banks, community centres, or community gardens — to obtain food over the next six months.

StatsCan also reported that many Canadians have adjusted their spending habits and lifestyle to cope with inflation — this includes seeking out sales or promotions, choosing cheaper alternatives, and delaying purchases in response to higher prices.

Additionally, 27% reported that they have had to borrow money from friends or relatives, take on debt or use credit to meet day-to-day expenses, while about one in four have drawn on savings to pay their expenses.

“Another 29% said they were saving less, and 19% reported they are no longer able to save each month,” StatsCan said.

The survey found that the effects of inflation are being felt throughout the country, with little variation between regions.

However, the agency did find significant differences among age groups, with younger Canadians much more concerned about their ability to afford housing than older households.