As more Canadians visit food banks, a supermarket chain in the Maritime Islands hopes the holiday season will bring some relief and healthy food options for everyone.
In a recent report, HungerCount2021Canada’s Food Banks says that visits to food banks have increased by more than 20 percent, with monthly visits reaching 1.3 million earlier this year. The report also shows that Maritimers make nearly 50,000 visits to their local food banks each month and that at least 3 out of 10 visits are to feed a child.
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The Atlantic Superstore’s annual Christmas Food Drive aims to raise food and funds for people who depend on food banks throughout the region. The fundraiser takes place Dec. 2-24 at all Atlantic Superstore, NoFrills and Your Independent Grocer locations in the Maritimes.
Each grocery store has partnered with food banks within its own community, and 100 percent of the proceeds and items collected go directly to their neighbors in need of support.
Donations for the Holiday Food Drive can be made at the store, either by adding a cash donation to a customer’s bill at checkout and / or by adding a few items to their cart, placing them in marked donation containers.
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There are also prepackaged paper bags containing non-perishable foods like canned meats, fruits, and vegetables that can be purchased for $ 5 or $ 10.
Feed Nova Scotia Communications Director Karen Theriault appreciates the compassion shown by the community during the COVID-91 pandemic.
“Now we are looking at food insecurity with a different lens,” he says. “We are not looking at it as who fits that definition of poverty, it is simply anyone who needs access to food should have access to food.
“We are increasingly reminded during this crisis that food is a basic human need, a basic human right, and we are doing everything we can to provide it without asking why they deserve it.”
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Registered dietitian Ellen Doyle says food drive donors should think about the food they would feed their own families when purchasing items to donate. Doyle recommends looking for non-perishable canned meats, fruits, and vegetables that are high in protein, with no added sugars or salt, and choose products made with whole wheat flour over refined white flour.
“Whole grains are a great source of magnesium and iron,” adds Doyle. “They are also very high in fiber, so they will fill us up and keep us full for longer.”
Doyle adds that non-perishable dairy products can provide vitamin D and calcium, and canned meats, beans and lentils offer inexpensive protein to Holiday Food Drive donors. Household necessities like toilet paper, diapers, and personal hygiene products can also be donated to this fundraiser.
Global News is proud to support the Holiday Food Drive. To learn more about how you can support a food bank in your community, visit the Global News event page.
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