May 7 to 11 is Hunger Awareness Week in Canada

Jeff Rollings with his wife Brandy Robinson volunteered to live on a food bank diet for Hunger Awareness week.

May 4, 2012 | | Blogs | Community | Hunger Awareness Week

This month, about 900,000 Canadians will rely on a food bank. That includes more than 800 in Caledon, and hundreds more across the Headwaters region.

May 7 to 11 is Hunger Awareness Week in Canada. The campaign was created to promote understanding about what life is like when food is out of reach. As part of this event, Caledon Community Services is holding a food box challenge. Participants like me will spend the week living on the same diet that a food bank client typically receives. I’ll be posting a daily blog about the experience on the In The Hills website.

Here’s what I’ll have to live on for the week:

  • 1 – 1lb bag of pasta of my choice
  • 2 cans of beans (Choice of chick peas, pork and beans, kidney beans or lentils)  540 ml each
  • 2 cans of soup (Usually tomato, mushroom or chicken noodle) 284 ml each
  • 1 box of macaroni & cheese
  • 1 package of rice (Uncle Ben’s/No Name)
  • 1 can of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can of vegetables 398 ml
  • 1 can of meat (175 g)
  • 1 specialty item:  box of cereal, jar of peanut butter, jar of jam or pancake mix
  • $8.00 – my choice (must be spent in a grocery store, not a restaurant)
  • In addition, I can choose up to 5 items out of the pantry such as flour, sugar, oils, coffee, etc. but I need to keep track of the quantity of these items used

As my wife Brandy and I are both participating, we can double some of the amounts. We’re buying all the food ourselves so don’t worry; we’re not using food bank resources.

Our specialty item will be peanut butter, and the pantry items we’ve selected are sugar, oil, coffee, tea and vinegar. The sixteen dollar shopping spree will go toward a small amount of ground beef and chicken, as well as a couple of staples which are notably missing from the list: milk and bread. Depending on how well we do at finding items on sale, we hope to add yogurt.

You too can take part in Hunger Awareness Week, and help make a positive impact on hunger in this community and across the country. There are three ways to do that:

Give it up – Challenge yourself to give up lunches or a food staple for the week

Give a Shout – Show your support via Facebook, Twitter or blogging

Give it out – Donate food, funds or time to your local food bank

For more information about hunger awareness week, visit

For more on hunger in Headwaters, see my story “Empty Plates,” from the Autumn, 2011 issue of In The Hills.

About the Author More by Jeff Rollings

Jeff Rollings is a freelance writer living in Caledon.

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Empty plates

Sep 9, 2011 | Jeff Rollings | Back Issues

For many people in this community, need and desperation are a daily reality, and front-line workers at local food banks say the situation is growing worse.


1 Comment

  1. Jeff and Brandy, thank you! Having you both on board is energizing for us and I expect eye-opening for you. I also expect that the week ahead is not going to be your most pleasant in memory. But hey, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In a week you can return to broccoli, low fat cheese and poultry… with a side of kale and 1% milk. As you both well know, the 800+ children, seniors and families who are regular users of our food hampers return for another hamper. And another one after that. Increased awareness is the first step. Addressing this challenge is the next step and here in Caledon we are on it with some big things in store in the months ahead!

    Thank you both so much for taking Hunger Awareness Week to the community. You’ll generate increased dialogue at soccer games, dinner parties and school classrooms about hunger in a community that has an abundance of resources to deal with it. We all appreciate your involvement and support! Monty Laskin, CCS

    Monty Laskin from Caledon on May 5, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply

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