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.
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.
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.
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 Catelli.ca/givingfeelsgood 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.