Give the Gift of Food

The holidays are quickly approaching and for many of us, that means gathering with family and friends around the table for a feast. In reality, though, not everyone is as fortunate to have a table overflowing with food. This holiday season we want to encourage our SAIFood readers to embrace the spirit of giving and help give the gift of food.

Food Bank Canada stats March 2016
Source: Food Banks Canada, 2016 (Provincial Data, March 2016)

The Food Bank Canada reports that each month they help more than 860,000 individuals across the nation secure food. Over the past year, those seeking assistance has increased by 1.3%, and this does not reflect the percentage of the population that is in need of food assistance, only those who have made the difficult choice of Food Bank help. Unfortunately, thousands of Canadians must forego food purchases to pay for rent and other household necessities. This holiday season though you can help make someone else’s day a little better through Food Bank donations.

How can you help?

There a number of ways you can give this holiday season and all year long. Through Food Bank Canada you can donate food, money, or your time, all of which would be greatly appreciated by many. If you can volunteer your time, contact your local Food Bank, and they will gladly accept your time and effort. You could participate in a current campaign from a local retailer, and a portion of your purchase will go to the Food Bank. Or you could give the gift of food, either through a food or money donation. Either donation will go straight to helping provide the gift of food to those in need.

Most needed items

Most needed food and household items
Food Banks most needed food and household items

If you are able to give the gift of food, there are 8 food items urgently needed: canned goods, vegetables and fruits, canned or frozen meats and fish, meat alternatives, pasta, healthy cereals, dairy, and infant foods and baby formula. Non-food items needed are hygiene products, tissue products and diapers. You can also contact your local Food Bank and ask what items they currently are in need of, and if there is a particular size of packaging which is preferred.

We can’t comprehend what it would be like not to have ample food in my pantry or a full deep freeze, but we hope if either of us or anyone we knew found themselves in this position, they could turn to the Food Bank for help. No one is sheltered from the possibility of food insecurities. A staggering 1 in 6 Canadian households currently or have recently received help from the Food Bank. Of those households, 1 in 6 people are employed, 8% are living on a pension, 18% are living in rural communities and 36% of those reached are children.

No one should have to go hungry! This holiday season, join us at SAIFood and give the gift of food.Stuart and I will be giving the gift this year through a monetary donation. You too can make a donation to Food Bank Canada, The Global FoodBanking Network, or a food bank in your country /area. Hunger isn’t a seasonal problem, so if you can help give the gift of food year round, please consider becoming a monthly donor!

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