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How food banks help our communities

How food banks help our communities
As food drive season ramps up before the spring holiday, it’s a great time to reconsider the role that food banks have in their communities.  Here we share insights into the services that food banks provide to better help recipients meet their own long-term needs.

Community kitchens. Many food banks operate community kitchens which are programs that bring together community members. These programs provide workshops to teach participants teach vital cooking skills.  Having food literacy skills like cooking shopping can go a long way to help learn how to use food hamper to make healthy meals.  

Kids programs. Approximately one third of those helped by food banks are children. Good nutrition during infancy and early childhood years is vital to long-term growth and health. That's why food banks often provide special hampers for families with infants and small children. Local food banks will also point their clients to community programs to help educate parents and children on proper nutrition.

Fresh food recovery. Surplus food is an essential part of the food bank ecosystem. Food banks typically access perishable foods by picking up from local grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and cafeterias. In addition to feeding our communities, food recovery programs also help to reduce food waste.

Food hampers. Food hampers remain one of the staple services of food banks in their efforts to help people in need. Food hampers will help provide recipients with essential food items to augment existing food supplies at home when times get tough. According to a 2016 report from the Mississauga Food Bank, only 11 per cent of clients visited the location once or more per month.
Community programs, nutritional education and support for other community organizations help relieve food insecurity issues. But they could not operate without the help of volunteers and a steady stream of donations.

This spring, local food banks across Canada are partnering with stores like Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore to collect donations and help feed our communities. Just look for the bin at the participating Loblaw stores starting on March 31st to April 13th.

To find your local store, click here.

Thank you to Loblaw for their ongoing support as a Leadership Food Banks Canada partner and for supporting our National Food Sharing System, a program that acquires and shares food with food banks across Canada. 

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Hunger Facts

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38%

of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)