Food bank creates hunger challenge

During Hunger Awareness Week, the Salvation Army Food Bank is asking Canadians to give up meals for a day.

For most Canadians, the question is what to eat, not whether or not to eat. But for more then 850,000 men, women and children in Canada, getting enough to eat every day is often out of reach.

During Hunger Awareness Week, the Salvation Army Food Bank is asking Canadians to see what it is like to not have access to enough food by giving up meals for a day or an important food staple for a week.

One in 35 Canadians depends on the generosity of the community for their daily meals.

“Take a look around you. Look at the man next to you on the bus, your next-door neighbour, the women beside you at the stop light, the children you see walking to school or your friends on Facebook. They could be starving for your help,” said David MacBain, community ministries director, Salvation Army Food Bank.

In 2011, the Vernon food bank served an average of 230 households every month. Multiply that by two or three people per home and that number becomes even more alarming. The food bank is now serving 40 per cent more people, or 800 more households than in 2008. These numbers do not include the 100 people who come just for bread every day.

“Of great concern is that we continue to see that 32 per cent of those represented in our figures are children — slightly below the national average, but nonetheless something we hate to see,” said MacBain.

“That means that many children are hungry as they try to learn in school, and, as we all know, when you are hungry nothing else — including math and science — matters much.”

The food bank thanks the many individuals and businesses that have supported its work over the past year.

Superstore and the Wholesale Club, both Loblaw companies, and customers collected $2,500 during the bi-annual food drive.

Shaw completes its four-week campaign to support local food banks by having people watch its YouTube video at www.vernonfoodbank.com. Click on the Together is Amazing logo and the YouTube icon. For every unique, first-time view of the video, Campbells will make a donation.

The Village Green Centre also helps fill the food bank shelves with the Fair Fight For Food collection bins that are part of a nation-wide campaign. Have Lunch-In brown bag lunches will be available at the Village Green centre court display and at both Salvation Army Thrift Stores during Hunger Awareness Week.

Each bag includes ideas on how the bag can be put to use to help the food bank. These include using the bag to take lunch to school or work and putting the money saved on buying lunch in the bag and bringing it to the food bank.

People can also fill the bag with food for a local food drive and wear a sticker, “I Support Hunger Awareness Week,” available at the Village Green Centre.

The top 10 things needed at the food bank are: canned meals, canned fish/meat, canned fruit, powdered milk; canned vegetables, pasta and pasta sauce, healthy cereal, peanut butter, rice and dry soup. All healthy food items are welcome.

“We thank you for supporting us in aiding our neighbours in need giving either through the events listed above or directly at The Salvation Army (3303-32 Ave. behind Staples),” said MacBain. “We in turn bless you for your kindness.”

 

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