With the cost of living at record highs, individuals and families in every community across Canada are at a breaking point.
Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount 2023 report shows that food banks across the country are experiencing overwhelming demand, with food bank use rising to the highest levels on record in 2023.
The milestone report found that there were almost 2 million visits to food banks across Canada in March 2023 alone, representing a 32 per cent increase compared to March 2022, and a 78.5 per cent increase compared to March 2019, which is the highest year-over-year increase in usage ever reported.
One third of food bank clients are children
According to HungerCount 2023 findings, one in three food bank clients are children (representing over 600,000 food bank visits in March 2023).
When children go hungry, it has profound effects on their health and development. Earlier this year, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study saying that because of financial problems, children and adolescents under 18 in food-insecure Ontario homes made 55 per cent more visits to doctors for mental-health reasons compared to those who had enough to eat.
Now more than ever, as demand reaches new all-time highs and food banks are struggling to support the people who rely on them, the Feed More Families Holiday Food Drive™ is intended to support food banks nationwide during the season of giving.
Ways to Give
From *Nov. 30 to Dec. 24, 2023, Food Banks Canada is inviting Canadians to participate in the Feed More Families Holiday Food Drive™ by donating most-needed, non-perishable food items in-store to the donation bin or making a monetary donation at checkout wherever President’s Choice products are sold. *In Quebec, the food drive will run from Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, 2023.
- Give money: Support will be collected in the form of cash at the checkout wherever President’s Choice products are sold.
- Give food: Food donation bins will be available for in-store food collection at select stores for the duration of the campaign.
One hundred percent of food and monetary donations will be directed to the local food bank.
Loblaw will also be matching customer donations up to $100,000 to support Food Banks Canada’s mission.
Thanks to the longstanding support of Loblaw and their customers, the Feed More Families Holiday Food Drive™ has provided almost 30 million pounds of food through two annual food drives.
In 2022, the spring and holiday Feed More Families food drives raised a total of almost three million pounds of food for local food banks.
Monetary donations are by far the best donation you can make to your local food bank. Financial donations give food banks the flexibility to buy fresh perishables for their hampers or load up on items that are in short supply.
- Whole grain foods
Whole grain foods like oatmeal, barley, high-fibre cereals or whole-grain pasta contain plenty of fibre and are an excellent source of minerals like magnesium and iron. Food banks with meal programs can also use them in their kitchens to create fresh meals for their clients.
- Lean proteins
Foods like canned tuna and chicken; plant proteins like peanut butter, beans, and lentils; or proteins contained in other canned meats help in the maintenance of body tissue and contribute to a feeling of satiety. Nut butters are a favourite because they’re a versatile ingredient in snacks and meals.
- Canned fruit
Canned fruit is high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. Likewise, frozen and canned vegetables free of added salt and sugars are often as good as fresh produce, studies suggest.
- Milk alternatives
Shelf stable milk, powdered milk, almond milk and rice milk all contain vitamin D, vitamin A, and calcium.