One in seven Canadians are experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic, particularly those in low-income and BIPOC communities. Far too many Canadians lack sufficient access to food and Covid has exposed this urgent problem for the crisis that it is. Food insecurity is not simply about a lack of food. The consequences are extensive, affecting physical, mental and emotional health, social connection and quality of life.In Toronto alone, there were more than one million food bank visits in 2020.
How can you help today?
Since this is an active crisis, the best immediate action is to support a food bank with a financial donation. Although it may seem like a good idea to physically bring goods or food, most organizers prefer financial donations. These financial donations not only allow them to purchase what is most needed, but since they have partnerships with food suppliers, they are able to get much more per dollar than what we can buy ourselves.You can donate directly to your local food bank. You can find a list of them here: Food Banks Canada. You can also donate to larger organizations directly: Food Banks Canada partners with 10 Provincial Associations and over 500 food banks and food agencies that work at the community level to support food insecurity. The organization’s mission is to enable an effective food bank community that addresses the short term need for food and longer term solutions to reduce hunger in Canada. It operates a number of programs such as the Hunger Awareness Week, HungerCount, a research report on food bank use in Canada, and a Safe Food Handling program for food banks. If you’re in the U.S., Feeding America is the largest charitable food assistance network working with 200 food banks and 60,000 food partners across the country. The response fund helps food banks provide equitable food access and reach communities, families, and people disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its economic fallout.