The Prince Edward Island government is giving out $100 grocery gift cards to low-income seniors 65 and older in the province, to help with skyrocketing food costs.
Inflation on P.E.I. is once again the highest in the country — the annual rate released Wednesday was 11.1 per cent in May, up from 8.9 per cent in April.
"We know that Island seniors are often on a fixed income and with the rising costs of food and fuel, may have a more challenging time accessing healthy nutritious food at local grocery stores," said Brad Trivers, minister of social development, in a written release Thursday.
"Every little bit helps. This new support, along with other provincial government inflationary programs will help to ensure people's basic needs are met."
The program is open to full-time Island residents 65 and over who pay for their own groceries and who self-identify as living in low income, the province's new Seniors Food Support web page says.
Applications open until end of August
The cards will be able to be used at any Sobeys-affiliated stores on P.E.I. including Sobeys, Foodland, participating Co-ops and Lawtons Drugs.
Applicants and their spouses must have a current provincial health card to apply. There is a limit of one card per household, and people can only apply once.
Seniors can register either online at www.princeedwardisland.ca/senior food support or by printing an application, filling it out and bringing it to any provincial social program office. Those offices will also have copies available for seniors to fill out in person. Applicants can dial 211 for assistance completing applications.
Those who apply online will receive their card within three to seven business days as an emailed code that can be printed off or shown on their phone at any Sobeys-affiliated store.
Those who apply via hard copy or who apply online but do not have an email address will get their code by regular mail, which the province says will likely take two to three weeks, possibly longer depending on how many people apply.
Registration opens Thursday and will stay open until August 26.