Celebrating Heart Month with a focus on fresh, healthy food

February is a month that is often decorated with the heart shape as a symbol of romantic love and affection in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, but it also marks Hearth Month, a time to focus on the efforts we can make to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, heart disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in the country, second only to cancer. Approximately 2.6 million Canadian adults aged 20 and older live with ischemic heart disease, the most common type of heart disease. 

We can all reduce our risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices, including being physically active, getting proper sleep, managing stress, limiting alcohol intake, and eating fresh, healthy food. 

Did you know that over 40% of the food that is distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh? 

One of the primary goals of Food Banks Canada is to increase the focus of food banks on distributing fresh, wholesome food in the future so that people facing hunger have a fair opportunity to live long and healthy lives. In fact, 40 per cent of all foods distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh. 

To ensure that 60 per cent of all the food that is distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh by 2025, Food Banks Canada is investing in our national network of over 4,750 hunger relief organizations to help expand and safely handle even more nutritious, perishable products for people affected by food insecurity across the country. 

This work is supported by our dedicated transport and warehousing partners across Canada, ensuring that large quantities of healthy foods and other essential items from corporate donors are transported in a safe and efficient manner to the areas of greatest need. 

READ MORE: Food Banks Canada distributes over 4 million pounds of P.E.I. potatoes to wide ‘a-peel’ 

Canadian Pacific (CP) is one of several companies that provide Food Banks Canada with this critical in-kind support, ‘showing heart’ by offering the use of their railroad – the arteries of the nation’s food shipping system – to move more than 795,000 pounds of fresh, perishable foods through our National Food Sharing System last year. 

Additionally, through the 24th CP Holiday Train program in 2022, Canadian Pacific raised more than $1.3 million and collected more than 121,000 pounds of food for local food banks and food shelves. 

With community at its heart, the CP Holiday Train has now raised more than $22.4 million and collected 5.15 million pounds of food since its inaugural journey back in 1999. 

Thank you, Canadian Pacific (CP), for being a Food Banks Canada Leadership Partner! 

Consider helping others who are struggling with hunger by donating heart-healthy items to a food bank near you today. FIND YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK HERE.