The rising cost of goods is taking its toll on Canadian households with almost half (46 per cent) of all respondents in a recent survey stating they have some difficulty covering their grocery bill.

More than one-third (37 per cent) of Canadians polled by the Angus Reid Institute said it’s been "difficult" to afford enough food to feed their household during the pandemic. Nine per cent said it’s been "very difficult".

The poll's findings come on the same day Statistics Canada revealed annual inflation increased at the fastest rate since 2003 in September at 4.4 per cent. Additionally, federal support programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including wage and rent subsidies, are set to expire on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, the majority of the survey's respondents don’t see their wages increasing fast enough to offset increases to consumer prices, even if they're just transitory – or temporary – as many economists maintain.

When asked if their earnings increased enough to offset a higher grocery bill, 37 per cent of respondents said “No, not enough”, while 42 per cent said, “No, not even close”.

Survey respondents were given a choice as to which issue is of greater concern: the rising cost of living, or losing income or employment. Nearly nine out of 10 people polled (87 per cent)  said the rising cost of living was their main concern.

Despite the struggles with living costs highlighted by the non-profit’s research, two-in-five respondents said it’s time to end pandemic support programs.

Even among those who have received some form of pandemic support themselves over the past 20 months, 29 per cent said these programs have run their course and should end as scheduled on Saturday.

5,011 Canadians were surveyed for this report between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus two per cent 19 times out of 20.