The latest Vital Signs report was released by the Alberni Valley Community Foundation yesterday, and it paints a serious picture of poverty in Port Alberni.
Our child poverty rate remains the highest in the province at 33.7% of Port Alberni kids come from low income families – far above the 20% average.
But the good news is, the people of the Alberni Valley are among the most charitable in the province, funding a variety of food bank and breakfast club programs, according to lead researcher Maggie Hodge Kwan
Hodge Kwan says the 14 different food programs identified in the valley, spent almost $270,000 in providing free or subsidized meals last year, which represents 1% of all meals consumed in the Alberni Valley in 2017.
Rental affordability has also become a major concern over the past few years.
Hodge-Kwan said more than half of all renters in the Alberni Valley are spending more than 30% of their income on shelter, which is higher than the provincial and national averages.
The rental vacancy rate has also been decreasing every year, and currently sits at 1.7%