Food bank visits in 2023 were at an unprecedented level.
According to Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount 2023 report, there were almost two million visits to food banks in Canada in March alone, far surpassing last year’s record-breaking usage.
This record level of usage shows increasing numbers of people in Canada are struggling to pay for basic expenses, and that levels of food insecurity are rising dramatically.
In the midst of one of the most challenging years yet, Food Banks Canada was able to distribute two million pounds of core shelf-stable products across the network of 4,750 food banks and community agencies, an impressive feat that could not be accomplished without the What’s For Dinner campaign hosted by Kraft Heinz Canada.
Every year, the What’s For Dinner campaign has the potential to provide up to two million meals for individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity and in need of assistance.
In Yellowknife, N.W.T., where the cost to feed a family far exceeds that of any of the provinces in southern Canada, the Salvation Army says that products shipped straight to their door through the What’s For Dinner campaign are helping them continue to provide food for clients in need.
“The Salvation Army is grateful to Kraft Heinz for their contribution to our food bank and to Food Banks Canada for facilitating this product to our door! We have observed an increased need, along with an exponential increase in the cost of running the food bank month to month. This product will help us continue to provide for those who require the services of our food bank, and it is well received by those accessing the service. The impact of rising costs has affected everyone, and Kraft Heinz has stepped up to help the community in their time of need. For this we say thank you!”– Jason Brinson, Executive Director & Associate Corps Officer, The Salvation Army Yellowknife Corps & NWT Resource Centre
Food Banks Alberta, which is the provincial association of food banks in Alberta comprised of over 100 members across the province, agrees that the What’s For Dinner campaign is greatly appreciated as demand reaches new all-time highs.
“We are immensely grateful for the generosity of Kraft Heinz quarter by quarter, year by year. Your commitment to produce products for donation has allowed Food Banks Alberta in turn to commit to our members a steady source of staple goods that is highly appreciated as the surge of food insecurity rises. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!”– Franciska Riehl, Network Manager, Food Banks Alberta
Kraft Heinz is a proud partner of Food Banks Canada. Over the past four years alone, Kraft Heinz has provided more than $18 million in financial and food support to communities in need across Canada.
Kraft Heinz is a partner in Food Banks Canada’s “Pledged Production” program, and is committed to providing a steady contribution of food throughout the year, which allows food banks to better plan their operations to ensure they have a consistent and reliable supply of food and smiling faces to greet our neighbours in need. This dedicated commitment of product by Kraft Heinz helps assure food bank clients that they can rely on the types of foods that will be available, so they can make planful, healthy choices for themselves and their family.
“As a company with products in so many Canadian pantries, we feel that it is our responsibility to play a role in addressing food insecurity,” said Simon Laroche, President of Kraft Heinz Canada. “We remain committed to supporting communities across the nation, and our partnership with Food Banks Canada helps us increase food distribution in the Canadian food bank system and directly impact those who need our support the most.”
Food Banks Canada provides national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network from coast to coast to coast. For 40 years, food banks have been dedicated to helping people living with food insecurity in Canada, even though they were never meant to be permanent fixture.
We believe that everyone in Canada has a role to play in ending food insecurity and hunger.