How donations make mealtime healthier and happier for single moms

‘The moms get really excited’: B.C. food banker says donations inspire fresh recipe ideas for food hampers

Spring is a time for new beginnings and new recipes at St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission.

Just as the cherry blossoms come into bloom across B.C.’s Lower Mainland, food bank manager Sandra Cascaden says volunteers begin developing fresh ideas for handwritten recipes cards to help clients of their monthly food hamper program “stretch the pot.”

“A lot of the donations we get are non-perishable items, and when we don’t have to buy non-perishables for the month, the money we save goes to dairy products or fresh proteins,” Cascaden said. “With the donations coming in, we can create more substantial meals for our clients.”

Janice Cook and Doug Rollheiser are pictured in March 2022 at St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission where they volunteer their time crafting handwritten recipe cards for clients of the monthly food hamper program.

Cascaden said the idea to include handwritten recipe cards inside their monthly food hampers was based on a client feedback questionnaire asking what the food bank could do to make the hampers last longer.

So far, the food bank’s purchases of dairy products and proteins — made possible by donations — have inspired crowd-pleasing dinner stretchers such as stuffed peppers with ground beef and homemade lasagna, as well as easy freezer meals planned with single parents in mind.

“I think it’s so important to send out recipe cards,” Cascaden said. “I know there a lot of single moms at home who are eager to make their items go further.

“Most of our clients are single mothers and they look forward to coming here because when mom gets to put together meals that are good and healthy, the whole family gets excited.”

Did you know that 17.8% of food bank users are single adults with children?

For more information about food bank use in Canada, read our HungerCount 2021 report.
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