Social Well-Being Tracker

Our social well-being indicators are based on social determinants of health. These indicators are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities. Social determinants of health also determine the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment. Social determinants of health are about the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that society makes available to its members. Important considerations include both the quality and their distribution amongst the population. 1

GHealth & Health Services

G1Number of People Served by Edmonton's Food Bank in MarchEdmonton City

Trend Analysis

Short Term


Long Term

Trend Value Negative

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Canada’s universal health care system aims to ensure that all Canadians are provided equal access to health services without financial barriers. Unfortunately, Canadians continue to face challenges in accessing medical care due to poverty and systemic discrimination. Many Black and Indigenous people in Canada lack trust in the system as a result of historical and contemporary discrimination and trauma.

All Canadians face long wait times for particular health services, but for people living in poverty these long wait times for even the most basic care may prove prohibitive. Combined with medical costs that are not covered by the system and must be paid out-of-pocket or through costly insurance program (such as prescription drugs, dental care, or mental health services), marginalized populations are unlikely to have reliable access to health care services. This is more alarming given that their health concerns are already heightened due to adverse living conditions (e.g., low-income, poor housing conditions, and food insecurity). For expectant mothers, these issues may increase the risk of low birth weight or child mortality; for others experiencing stress and other mental health challenges, these issues impact life expectancy and suicide rates.

Number of persons served by Edmonton's Food Bank in March 2020

  • Households in need of food can only receive a hamper from the food bank once per month. The data above counts the number of distinct individuals (including dependent children) who received food hampers each month. Data for the years 2011 to 2020 is calculated based on the month of March. For earlier years, the data reflects a monthly use average over the entire year.
  • In March 2020, the Edmonton Food Bank served 25,028 different people through its hamper program.
  • The last 20 years of food bank use reflects the ups and downs of Edmonton’s economy. In 2007, the Edmonton Food Bank served a 20-year low of 10,422 people, rising up to 16,803 toward the end of the global financial crisis in March 2011, back down to 12,677 during the economic recovery, and back up to a record high 23,181 people served in March 2017. From 2017 to 2019, food bank usage declined but it is now rising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This data has been collected from external sources and should not always be attributed to ESPC. We would be happy to provide you with a specific reference for the data that you have used. Please use the contact form on this page to request sourcing information.

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