Food Banks

Help us combat Hunger. Download the Eco Eats app and donate to food banks across Canada.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The pain of hunger is said to be severe. If we wish to live as human beings, let us rise above even this pain.” Hunger is one of the biggest challenges that the world faces today. One in nine people around the world don’t have enough to eat, and the numbers are rising constantly. Governments and international organizations are taking several measures to combat hunger. But while they work for a long-term change, to combat world hunger, public support is utmost important. And as responsible human beings it is our duty to provide emergency food and compassionate, dignified support to people locked in crisis. We can do this by connecting to “food banks” and extending our help to them. 

What is a food bank?

A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger. They are a bit like supermarkets, but everything is free. The products available in food banks consist of basic items that people need to live, most of which are given to the charities by members of the public. Here not only food but also other essential items like loo paper and soap are available.

Since the 1980s food banking has spread around the world. There are over 30 countries with active food bank groups under the umbrella of The Global Food Banking Network. Countries in the international network include Australia, Israel, Turkey, Russia, India, Taiwan, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the UK. There are also several countries with food banks but which have not yet joined the network, either as they don’t yet meet the required criteria or as they have not applied. 

Operational Models in Food Banking

A major distinction between food banks is whether they operate on the “front line” model, giving out food directly to the hungry, such as many European ones or they operate on the “warehouse” model, supplying food to intermediaries like food pantries, soup kitchens and other front-line organizations, such as in Nepal, North America and Australia. In the USA, Australia and to an extent in Canada, food banks act as food storage and distribution depots for smaller front line agencies. 

Another distinction is between the charity model and the labour union model .In Canada and the USA, food banks run by charities often place relatively more weight on the salvaging of food that would otherwise go to waste, and on encouraging voluntarism, whereas those run by unions can place greater emphasis on feeding the hungry by any means available, on providing work for the unemployed, and on education, especially on explaining to users their civil rights.

Food Banks Canada 

Food Banks Canada (formerly the Canadian Association of Food Banks) is a charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Their membership includes 10 Provincial Associations and over 500 local food banks. Their aim is to provide national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow by collaborating with the food banks network across Canada. They support a network of Provincial Associations and affiliate food banks and food agencies that work at the community level to relieve hunger.

Their work is focused on maximizing collective impact, strengthening local capacity, and reducing the need for food banks. They operate a number of programs such as the Hunger Awareness Week, the HungerCount report, and a Safe Food Handling program for food banks that help them enhance their ability to acquire a safe and steady supply of nutritious food and distribute it to people in their communities. Their “Community Gardens Program” gives food bank recipients greater access to fresh foods and food-growing skills by funding community garden and greenhouse programs within the food bank network.

So if you want to contribute to the world’s fight against hunger connect with your nearest food bank on Eco Eats app and extend your support. Remember even the smallest help counts. 

Bonne journée!

Help us combat Hunger. Download the Eco Eats app and donate to food banks across Canada.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *