Hunger Awareness Day – do your part
Today is Hunger Awareness Day. For those of us who can truly enjoy the delicious wine and recipes that make up every issue of Tidings Magazine and www.tidingsmag.com, there are so many who don’t have such luxury. Everyone should have the opportunity to eat and drink well, and to choose, for themselves, what food and drink they want to enjoy. There’s dignity in choice. When we can decide for ourselves what and when we want to eat, we feel capable, independent, human. Imagine, for a moment, not having that choice. Imagine being forced to accept whatever someone has put together in a box (often barely enough to last a week). I don’t know of anyone who likes the idea of feeding people via food banks. But, since 1981 when the first one opened in Edmonton, Alberta, food banks have spread across the country, and the number of people using them has increased dramatically.
This week, both Kraft Canada and Campbell Canada have taken the lead in raising donations of money and food for Food Banks Canada. They’ve laid in place a few ideas (listed below) meant to encourage us to follow that lead, too.
facts about hunger
• In 2009, close to 800,000 Canadians were assisted by community food banks each month, an increase of 18 per cent from the year before, which is the largest year over year increase on record.
• Those receiving assistance from Canadian food banks come from a wide range of groups including children, seniors, working Canadians and people living with disabilities.
“Hunger is largely a hidden problem in many communities across Canada but in reality it is in all of our back yards,” says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. “Although it isn’t always obvious, people you see on the bus, children playing in the park and visiting the library may be going to bed hungry.”
what we all can do
• Donate to a local food bank from June 1-11 and Kraft Canada will match your donation dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000. Over the past six years, the annual Kraft Hunger Challenge has raised more than $3 million for community food banks across Canada, including more than $580,000 in 2009. If you can’t deliver your cheque directly to a food bank, you can donate online at www.foodbankscanada.ca; mail it to Food Banks Canada c/o Kraft Hunger Challenge, 2968 Dundas Street West, Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario M6P 1Y8; or donate by phone at 1-877-535-0958. A tax receipt will be issued for all donations over $10.
• Starting June 1st, Campbell Canada is encouraging Canadians to visit www.facebook.com/CampbellCanada. There, we can pledge to help by making a food donation at a local grocery store or volunteering our time at a local food bank. For every pledge, Campbell will donate a can of Campbell’s Condensed Vegetable Soup to Food Banks Canada. The goal is to get 60,000 pledges and donate 60,000 cans in 60 days!
• Pick up a can of Help Hunger Disappear Campbell’s Condensed Vegetable Soup ca. This is the first time Campbell Canada has dedicated one of its iconic red and white cans to a charitable cause in an effort to raise awareness for the issue of hunger and encourage us to donate nutritious foods to our local food banks during the summer. The cans will be available at grocery stores across Canada.
participate in a local event
Help Hunger Disappear events in support of Food Banks Canada will take place in these cities:
Edmonton, AB – June 1 at Millwood Commons, 5011-23 Avenue – Sobeys
Toronto, ON – June 3 at 147 Laird Drive – Sobeys
Vaughan, ON – June 3 at 9200 Bathurst St. – Sobeys
Windsor, ON – June 3 at 7654 Tecumseh Rd. E – Sobeys
Halifax, NS – June 17 at 961 Bedford Hwy, Bedford – Sobeys
Saint John, NB – June 17 at 1 Plaza Avenue – Sobeys
“Help Hunger Disappear not only raises awareness of the need for hunger relief and drives donations to Food Banks Canada, it reminds us that we can all play a part in helping hunger disappear,” says Schmidt. “Food Banks Canada will continue to address the short term need for food and longer term solutions.”