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