Monday, March 21, 2016

Feed it Forward

Food insecurity in Canada

Do you know what the face of hunger looks like?
·       

1 in 8 Canadian families struggle to put food on the table.
·       32% of the people requiring food assistance are children.**
·       25% of food bank users are immigrants.**
·       79,000 people each month access a food bank for the first time.*
·       Almost 40% of food bank clients have a diploma, degree or higher.**
·       On average, people who use food assistance programs do so for two years.**

*According to Food Banks Canada's HungerCount 2015 report.
**According to Daily Bread Food Bank's Who's Hungry 2015 report.

1 in 6 Canadian Children are affected by food insecurity.
*Source: Maple Leaf foods

Over the past couple of years I have learned a lot about Food Insecurity in Toronto and around the world because of my blog and in my work as an Ambassador for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  I got involved to see if I could do something to help people learn about their food and in the process I learned about the food insecurity issue from attending local charitable events that raise funds for programs like the Stop Community Food Program, who have various food training programs and they provide food to local communities in need.  This past October  a group of people and  I toured a couple of local schools and we learned about the Feed Tomorrow program that has school programs that provide food to school children who are experiencing hunger.  The older students volunteer to assist the program.
Second Harvest is another great non-profit that has great initiatives that many local restaurants in the city support by donating food.  And don't forget the food banks, one of the largest being the Daily Bread Food Bank who work tirelessly to get food and cash donations to provide food for people on various forms of assistance.

In a city as big as Toronto that is supposed to be "booming" why do we still have these organizations struggling to serve the local community?

Is food a Human Right?

While I am not a big fan of giving street people spare change because I don't believe it helps them in the long run, but I do believe there are a lot of people that need help.

Food Insecurity is a bigger problem than you think.

Recently the cost of produce shot up almost triple the normal cost and a head of cauliflower could cost about $8.  When you make $11.50 an hour you

If you think about the fact that the minimum wage is under $12 and the cost of living in Toronto for just a bachelor apartment starts at $900 if you are lucky, there isn't much left for enough food  after you pay your necessities but isn't food a necessity too?

If you are single on Ontario Works assistance you only get $681 dollars a month.  They believe you should spend $200 a month from that for food.  Good luck with that working out.
Disability is somewhere around $900 a month I believe.
In other words if you get sick or lose your job you have a good chance of going hungry at some point unless you have some other assistance.

As a regular contributor to Gastropost (The National Post's) community I am happy to support a new partnership campaign between Gastropost and Maple Leaf Foods.
Maple Leaf Foods will provide a $10,000.00 donation.

THE CAMPAIGN:
Feed it Forward by nominating a great Canadian in your community who has gone above-and-beyond to use good food to better the lives of others. Whether they have put in place a program to nourish school children, deliver nutrition education for people who need support, or use food as a way to bring people together and teach valuable life skills.


Nominate a great Canadian in your community who has gone above-and-beyond to use good food to better the lives of others. Whether they have put in place a program to nourish school children, deliver nutrition education for people who need support, or use food as a way to bring people together and teach valuable life skills.


They could receive a $10,000 donation towards their organization and enjoy free Maple Leaf groceries for a year.  And just by nominating them you could have the opportunity to receive free Maple Leaf groceries for a year.



The Nominee must volunteer or work for a registered not-for-profit organization or community group that uses food as a key component of supporting their program goals.

I mentioned a few of these organizations above.

To NOMINATE someone submit your information here:  

This program takes place from March 21 to April 9, 2016.

Spread the word and get people talking about this great campaign that can make a difference in a lot of people's lives through this large donation. It's easy, all you have to do is nominate someone that is already doing good things to help them and you be rewarded for the great work.

Don't forget to follow along on social media and Tweet, Instagram, Facebook or whatever else you use to spread the word.

HASHTAG #feeditforward
Don't forget to follow @MapleLeafFoods on Twitter and Instagram
Follow fellow Gastroposter's feed using the Hashtag #Gastropost
Become a Gastroposter and submit your food photos for weekly missions and follow @Gastropost
http://gastropost.nationalpost.com/




This blog post was promoted by Gastropost + Maple Leaf Foods but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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