Food Banks a Growing need in our time of Need
Many food banks are busier than ever, over the last year food banks have seen a 20% spike in use. As the pandemic shows little sign of stopping more and more people are becoming financially unstable. Those who typically have had stable employment are finding funds are drying as that happens the need for foodbanks continues to grow. To many people food banks appear as a resource they would never use. People are too proud thinking that the only individuals using food banks are those who are homeless. Many people think as though you lose all dignity if you need to use these services. This is a very unfortunate negative connotation about the food bank, its not true that the only people who use the resources are one that are unable to make money. Often the individuals are hard working and have simply fallen on hard times. Other events like COVID has impacted them in such a way they need a helping hand.
Today I want to highlight how important food banks are and all the efforts made to provide a dignified service to anyone in need. We all have the shared experience as children bringing cans or some other non-perishable to school to earn a pizza party of some other prize. This creates the perception that the only goods you can get there are canned food. This is far from the truth, food banks provide a combination of healthy fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy in addition to those canned goods. In addition, it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with canned goods, they are a shelf stable highly nutritious food source. Often the goods are preserved at the height of their ripeness to provide the best product. Food banks also provide a range of services outside that of simply providing meals. Services like THE SEED, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and multiple others provide education, tools for career advancement, job opportunities and other experiences that help lift people up. This creates a more holistic experience that encourages people to make healthy and meaningful changes. Dignity is a massive part of the food banks mission. The standards of items they accept is quite high, it is not just food scraps of lesser quality food which the typical public no longer wants. The food banks aim to provide a varied and health assortment of food to the individuals they serve. This food is just as good as any supermarket.
Food is a necessity for all. As people continue to struggle world-wide, I strongly encourage you to find more compassion in your hearts. There should be no stigma against using food banks. If you are fortunate enough to have a little extra now, please think about donating to your local food bank. Any form of donation would be greatly appreciated. Financial donations are especially appreciated, $1 can provide 3 meals to those in need.
Here’s a link to the Waterloo Food Bank if you are interested: https://www.thefoodbank.ca/donate/