Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help

Have you ever thought about how you perceive hunger and who relies on food banks to feed their families in Canada? I have to say that a recent Catelli survey opened my eyes to the challenges some families go through when it comes to food security.

Since our social media feeds are often filled with posts showing over-the-top meals, desserts and snacks, it is hard to imagine that over 1 million Canadians access food banks each month, with  half (45%) of those being individuals living on their own, and another 19% being single parents supporting a family on their own.

I had the opportunity to visit the Greater Vancouver Food Bank myself and I got a behind the scenes look of their operations. I met some of the people who work and volunteer at the food bank and I learned about the amazing job they do at supporting the community and those who need it the most. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, a lot more than simply processing, sorting, selecting and packaging the food, and there are many amazing people and companies involved in the process.

One of the greatest takeaways from my visit was how important it is for them to focus on food quality and ensuring they can offer products that are nutritional to those who rely on the food bank every week. Every donation they receive from the community makes an impact and selecting items that have higher nutritional value can help make a difference. You can get involved by donating funds, donating food or volunteering your time.

Below are some of the images I captured while I was visiting the food bank.

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If you would like to donate food, you can purchase non-perishable items and deliver them to your local food bank (check here for a list of acceptable items), and if you don’t have the time to drop them off yourself, you can purchase the items at your grocery store and see if they have a food bank hamper bin at the entrance of the store, where you can deposit the donations. A super convenient way to help.

Pasta is one of those great non-perishable items that you can purchase and donate. If you purchase a box of Catelli pasta between April 15 – May 31, 2019, Catelli will donate a serving of pasta to people in need.  This program is a great way to maximize your support and to help support the food crisis in our country.

Getting The Conversation Started With The Kids

To help us get the “giving to others” conversation started, Catelli sent us some “minimalist plates” to illustrate the small portion sizes that are the norm for many Canadians who struggle to feed themselves and their kids every day.

I cooked our dinner and plated our meal in the smallest portion of the Minimalist Plate. The kids were surprised, and they asked why we had such small portions. I then explained that some people struggling financially might have to eat very small portions, or sometimes go without a meal. I also shared some of the shocking numbers from their survey with them. They were shocked about the numbers, and the experience was eye-opening for them as well.

Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help

Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help

Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help

Below are some of the numbers the survey revealed and a reminder to dig a little deeper and never take things at face value, especially when social media doesn’t always show real life and what people see and share on their feeds can make them feel insecure about not having the money to feed themselves.

  • Almost one-quarter (22%)of B.C.ers have skipped a meal because they couldn’t afford to buy anything.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24%)C.ers have turned to a food bank at least once in their life.
  • From single, working parents to adults trying to make ends meet on their own, to seniors with a shrinking income, food bank users come from all walks of life, and many were previously food secure. In fact, 1 in 6 people assisted by food banks nationally are employed.
  • Almost half (48%) of Canadians believe social media is a platform to showcase delicious, nutritious meals, not the reality of turning to a food bank when you are hungry.
  • The majority of Canadians (63%)are upset one-third of food bank users are children, but admit, they don’t know how to make a real difference.

Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help

Since 2009, Catelli has donated millions of servings of pasta to those in need. Now in its eleventh year, Catelli has pledged to give 1 million pasta servings to 16 food bank partners across Canada.  We can easily help make a difference by helping ensure there is food at the local food bank to feed those who need it most.

You can find out more about how to help make a difference by visiting and following #GivingFeelsGood on social media.

Have you ever donated to or visited your local Food Bank?

Disclosure: This is a partnered post with Catelli. However, all opinions and views on this post are 100% my own.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

32 responses to “Giving Feels Good, Here is How You Can Help”

  1. Sad truth! This is a wonderful post to create awareness and help those in need. My family and I donate as often as we can.

  2. I had no idea the numbers were that high! i will definitely donate next time im at the grocery store. so sad 🙁

  3. The food banks in my city empty pretty fast. There’s always some sort of door-to-door charities that collect food and we always have it ready for when they come. If everyone gave a little, it would make a big difference. It’s always good to do it as a family.

  4. A great initiative by Catelli to help families in need. I donate to our local food bank every couple of months.

  5. What a very tragic state of affairs when so many have so very little to eat in a western civilised country!

  6. You never know who among your neighbours, co-workers, families at your school, etc. have used or are currently getting help from the food bank. I know what it’s like to be hungry, and I donate because I can. Thanks for bringing awareness.

  7. The statistics are so sad but I can relate. Glad that Catelli is offering their help 🙂

  8. Glad Catelli is offering their help! Such an important cause!

  9. It is so upsetting how many people need to rely on the food bank and how many people including kids are regularly going hungry.

    My daughter’s class recently had a field trip to the Surrey Food Bank and it was the best field trip experience ever. The kids learned so much and had a chance to volunteer.

    I hope to be able to volunteer there in the future again.

  10. That is very sad, I’m glad that the schools have a breakfast program so the kids can get something in their tummies, the stores need to start giving instead of throwing out!

  11. Anything that supports the food bank is a yes for me, I wish we could do more.

    • Yes! Any little help contributes to the bigger picture!

  12. The numbers are staggering. It’s heartbreaking and my daughter came home the other day and told us that in Victoria they are running out of shelters and food so fast because the number of homeless people in our city are multiplying.

    • They are staggering. An eye-opener for sure!

  13. Thank you for shedding a light on a nationwide problem.

  14. I was surprised to read Almost half (48%) of Canadians believe social media is a platform to showcase delicious, nutritious meals, not the reality of turning to a food bank when you are hungry.

  15. I never realized the statistics were so high. That is so sad. I need to do more when I can to help.

  16. When my son was in high school they had to volunteer for a day for one of is course. Him and a friend volunteer at our local food bank. He said he learn so much and they unload food and made boxes. I notice last summer we had quite a few homeless people in our neighborhood. 2 years ago we had none. It is so sad.

    • Yeah, it is 🙁 That’s amazing he volunteered!

  17. I put food items into the boxes at Sobeys a few times a years. We can give in little ways.

    • That’s great! I like the boxes at grocery stores because they are convenient.

  18. My daughter’s school just completed a read-a-thon to raise money for a school in Malawi and for our local food bank. The money was split between the two causes. Earlier in the school year, my daughter’s class had visited the food bank to volunteer.

  19. The food banks are supernimportant in the community I live in. We given as often as we can 🙂 thanks for raising awareness.

    • Thanks for reading <3

  20. Thanks for giving us the background knowledge about the canadian food banks.

  21. ”The majority of Canadians (63%)are upset one-third of food bank users are children, but admit, they don’t know how to make a real difference” this fact is just so sad… people need to take more initiative, they are blind sided 🙁

  22. Yes the food bank is in high demand and i am so glad that now there is a breakfast program now for breakfast club. Prince Edward Island is very high going to the food bank as it’s seasonal jobs here . I had volunteered at the food bank and they do a amazing job.

  23. I love the visuals that you have given your children.

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