More Canadians might be relying on food banks, but Kamloops has weathered the current economic climate with the number of clients using the Kamloops Food Bank holds steady.
"We're lucky. Our numbers are flat compared to last year," Melodie Grabner, the food bank's resource development director, said Tuesday.
Grabner's comments came the same day an annual study by Food Banks Canada revealed a 2.4 per cent increase in Canadians using food banks compared to last year.
The document, called the Hunger Report, said more than 882,000 Canadians used a food bank in March 2012. About half of the 4,500 food banks surveyed reported an increase in use, while half reported a decrease or no change at all.
The Kamloops Food Bank served 6,800 clients — 795 of them children five years old and younger — between October 2011 and today, said Grabner. The numbers are identical to those from the previous 12 months.
The food bank can only track those clients who walk through the centre's doors at 171 Wilson St., she said. The society does farm food out to more than 40 agencies in the community, but has no way of knowing if demand is on the rise.
The Kamloops-Thompson School District is one of them. Assistant superintendent Karl deBruijn said each school has a dedicated meal program and all of them are busy.
DeBruijn said administrators have a hard time tracking how many students use the program. If a child is hungry, they are given food.
What he does know is there hasn't been an increased demand for food or funding, so the number of students using the programs is consistent, said deBruijn.
"The need is definitely there but it's not easy to track," he said.
Anita Grover, acting executive director for Venture Kamloops, said a diverse economy has helped keep the food bank's client list from growing.
In a city like Kamloops, when one industry falters, the entire community doesn't feel the impact, she said.
"That's something that's very fortunate," said Grover.