More and more Nova Scotians are turning to food banks, a new survey suggests.

HungerCount, a national survey from Food Banks Canada, says food bank usage in the province is up 11 per cent from last year and 33 per cent from 2008.

Ninety-eight food banks were represented in the survey, according to Feed Nova Scotia, with 22,573 people needing assistance last March.

In this same month, just under 135,000 meals were served at soup kitchens, or through meal programs.

“While the numbers do not come as a great surprise, they are disheartening,” Dianne Swinemar, executive director of Feed Nova Scotia, said in a release.

Feed Nova Scotia is also having trouble meeting the increased demand in part, according to Swinemar, because financial gifts are down.

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