Food banks launch joint Thanksgiving food drive

Six major food banks in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have launched a joint Thanksgiving Food Drive with the goal of raising awareness of food insecurity and collecting more than one million pounds of food.

“This is a critical time of year for families facing food insecurity,” says Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington. “Community participation is key when it comes to food banks being able to best serve the communities that need them the most. All of the organizations taking part in this campaign work passionately to shine a light on the ongoing challenges around hunger. We ask that those in Toronto and the GTA take action and donate food or funds during this giving season.”

Household food insecurity is the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. It’s a serious problem in Canada that negatively impacts physical, mental and social health, and costs our health-care system considerably, reports PROOF.

The interdisciplinary research team at University of Toronto investigates household food insecurity in Canada. One in eight households is food insecure, amounting to more four million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, living in homes that struggle to put food on the table, it notes.

The Food Bank of York Region supports more than 60 community organizations across the region’s nine municipalities. “These community partners serve people who are impoverished, homeless, neglected, abused, hungry and otherwise marginalized, says Executive Director Alex Bilotta. “Collecting and delivering surplus food to local food banks and community organizations that provide meals and food to their clients is a very effective and efficient means to address food insecurity in our region.”

The four-week Thanksgiving Food Drive seeks to collect 1.08 million pounds of food. The six food banks taking part in the campaign are:

• Daily Bread Food Bank
• The Mississauga Food Bank
• North York Harvest
• Knights Table
• The Food Bank of York Region
• Feed the Need Durham

Food donations can be dropped off at participating fire stations and grocery stores across Toronto and the GTA. Most-needed items include canned fruits, canned vegetables, rice, pasta and high-protein goods like peanut butter. The Thanksgiving campaign – which wraps up on Sunday, Oct. 14 – also has a monetary donation goal of $860,000. With every dollar donated, participating foods banks will be able to provide meals to those struggling with hunger, the Daily Bread Food Bank reports.

Major Toronto and GTA foods banks launch joint Thanksgiving food drive. (CNW Group/Daily Bread Food Bank)

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