Make Your Donations Count
In their 2014 HungerCount Food Banks Canada reported that 374,698 Ontario individuals were assisted by food banks in March, the annual survey month. This was a decrease of less than 1% compared to 2013 but an overall increase of 19% since 2008.
Of those assisted in 2014, 35% were children and youth (18 years of age or under). Of the 377 food banks that provided numbers for the type of households their clients lived in, 46% lived in single person households and 23.8% lived in single-parent homes.
In 2013, 9.3% of households in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District, both with and without children, reported they were not able to afford the food they needed in the previous 12 months.¹
There are many challenges related to the food on hand at food banks. Lack of variety, short time to expiry date, lack of storage for perishable items, and low nutrient content all limit the variety of food available to food bank users. By the time someone seeks assistance at the food bank, the quality and quantity of their food intake as well as their health have likely already suffered.
Items Most Needed at Food Banks
See our checklist for Healthy Food Choice Donations ideas.
Target Your Food Bank Donations
Meal kit – fill a shoe box with all items needed for a complete meal – for example, tomato sauce, tomato paste, kidney beans, canned mushrooms, canned corn, and chili powder can make great chili. A recipe would be fun to include!
School lunches & snacks – pudding cups made with milk, peanut-safe granola bars, fruit cups, cereal bars, 100% juice boxes.
Plant-a-row in your garden! - Plant an extra row of your favourite vegetables, and give the extra harvest to the food bank. If you have left over produce in your freezer from last year, check with your local food bank to see if they have need for that as well..
Always check with your local food bank before donating perishable foods such as fresh and frozen fruits & vegetables, meat, and milk. Find our what your local food bank needs and make that your starting point.
For more information local food bank locations, contact the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit’s toll free Health Action line at 1-800-660-5853 or 613-345-5685 and ask to speak to a Registered Dietitian.
¹Canadian Community Health Survey 2013, Statistics Canada, Share File, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.