Mark LeBlanc and his staff and volunteers at the Vestiaire St-Joseph food bank in Shediac typically serve 600 people from their region each month, but in December that number rose to over 700.

As executive director of the non-profit, which also offers a teaching kitchen and family resource centre, LeBlanc said the trend is “disturbing,” especially when you look more closely at the people who are in need.

“When you start looking at the numbers and breaking it down — children become a shocking number.”