For every not-for-profit organization or social cause awareness is half the battle. My give today is jumping an the bandwagon for Hunger Awareness Day. Hunger is an issue all over the world even in Canada. Quoted from the Hunger Awareness Day site:
“This year Canadians are being invited to make a change – big or small – that can impact the issue of hunger in our country.”
Day 245: Give 245
(Facts taken from the Hunger Awareness Day site)
There IS hunger in Canada
In 2010, close to 900,000 people were assisted each month by a food bank in Canada. This was 9% higher than in 2009 and 28% higher than in 2008. Thanks in large part to the effects of the recession, in 2009, 72,000 people per month walked through the doors of a food bank for the first time.
There IS hunger in Canada because…
Too many Canadians do not have enough income to pay for rent, bills, clothing for growing children, transportation, medication – and food. Food is unfortunately one of the most flexible household expenses, and it is often nutrition that suffers when money is tight.
I live in Vancouver and we just voted one of the most expensive places to live on the planet. I couldn’t imagine trying to own a home, feed your family, pay for gas ($1.38 litre!) send your kids to school, after school programs and the list of living expenses goes on. No wonder even in Canada families are struggling every day to put food on the table. But how can we help? Here are action steps you can take to bring more awareness to the issue of hunger in Canada.
Change what you know about hunger
We all have some ideas about the issue of hunger in Canada. Ideas about what may cause it, who is affected by it, and maybe even how we can address it. Here are some ideas for how to change what you know about it.
- Read the 2010 Hungercount report
- Visit the About Hunger Page at foodbankscanada.ca
- Check out the following video
- Invite a food bank representative to visit your school, place of worship or workplace to talk about hunger in your community
Food banks rely on the generosity of the individuals and the companies that support them. It’s thanks to local food and fund drives and the efforts of communities across the country – large and small – that Canada’s network of more than 3,000 food agencies are able to provide essential services for those in need.
Volunteer. Most food banks offer a wide range of volunteer positions and flexible hours that can be matched to your skills and availability. Contact your local food bank to find out how you can get involved.
Coordinate a food drive. Collect non-perishable food at your school, office or place of worship. Suggest that donations be from the most needed food lists.
Become a monthly donor. Most food banks are set up to accept donations on a one time basis or ongoing basis. Consider growing an occasional donation to a regular contribution. Connect with your local food bank.
Change how you support your food bank
One important change you can make is in how you talk about hunger, or even whether you talk at all about it. With close to 900,000 Canadians having visited a food bank in an average month in 2010, there is certainly a lot to discuss. What can you say? Consider the following:
- Click that you Like Food Banks Canada on Facebook
- Follow Food Banks Canada on Twitter and post links to any updates on your Twitter page
- Call or email your MP to let them know you think that hunger is an issue in Canada
- Discuss the issue, with your friends, children, coworkers… bring it to life by sharing what you know about it!
As I said awareness is half the battle. Whether you support in a small way or large way every little bit helps.
Have you volunteered or donated to help a local shelter or foodbank? Leave us a comment with your story and how it felt to give help to hunger.
Time Commitment: 30 minutes to write my post to create awareness