A food bank is defined as: a place where stocks of food, typically basic provisions and non-perishable items, are supplied free of charge to people in need.
I am pretty sure there is a food bank in every small town and large city throughout Ontario but what do they really offer and who uses them. I would like to say that Food Banks are for a small percentage of our population but sadly, food banks throughout Canada are used far more than we would like to admit.
Recently, I have been involved in more than one event where a non-perishable item was required to attend. Most of us bring a box or bag full and I have never heard a complaint regarding the donation. Most recently, here at Pike Lake we attended an event where 4 large boxes of non-perishables were delivered to the food bank: Community Pantry, Mt Forest, Ontario.
Our friends who delivered the food were both shocked and dismayed to learn that summer is the worst time for food banks. Not only is it hot and unbearable at times or perhaps it is the nice weather and some people assume that the most needful time is the winter. Sad part is, we all need to eat during all seasons. We may think that you do not know anyone who uses the food bank but there is a good chance that that is a poor assumption on our parts.
Thirteen percent of Canadians live in a state of food insecurity, which means they do not have reliable access to adequate amounts of safe, good-quality, nutritious food. The root cause of hunger in Canada is low income, which consistently affects more than four million of us at any given time.
Food banks are an important method of addressing this need. Each month, over 850,000 people turn to food banks for help; more than one-third are children and youth. Click on this link to learn more about the use of Food banks throughout Canada.
The people who visit food banks come from all backgrounds. They include families with children, employed people whose low wages do not cover basic living essentials, individuals on social assistance, and Canadians living on a fixed income, including seniors and people with disabilities.
Donating to a food bank is really quite simple. Most grocery stores offer a drop off area within the store that food banks pick up. Firehouses also take food bank donations. Mailing a cheque is even simpler if transportation is an issue. I currently have a box of food in my vehicle that I will be dropping off this week.
If you would like to donate in your area but cannot locate the resources, please contact me, I will be happy to lend a hand in locating the food banks in your area.