Saturday December 4, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 10:20 pm]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
Absolutely, providing donations of non-perishable food items and cash to local food banks is a fundamental plank of giving to one’s community during the year-end holiday season.
Just a few tips on broadening the spectrum of products, so that the giving is as good as it can get.
Those left-over cans from the back of your pantry aren’t necessarily the best offering. And going for pastas or crackers because they’re cheap is pumping up the low-nutrient carbohydrates.
People often have a variety of nutritional needs in their diet. The easy-give is not necessarily the best give.
Opting to give products that are low-carbohydrate, or low-sodium, or tailored to a gluten-free diet are likely not frequently amongst what is given to food banks. But give it a try. A lot of people who might benefit from a food bank bag or basket of food will appreciate your creativity.
And maybe try including things like boxed teabags or coffee filters. Those are the sorts of things people forego at the grocery store when money is tight, but would support a positive feeling in the home.
Food banks use cash donations to flesh-out the contents of donation packages, including poultry or ham, vegetables and fruits. Those products are either donated by grocery stores or purchased by the food banks in bulk at a lower cost.
Local food banks:
The need for food banks has increased dramatically in recent years, even before the COVID pandemic. But the job-impact of the pandemic put some people in a position of need who’d never been in that spot before.
Food security, overall, has come into greater focus during the pandemic as people see how food supply chains can be impacted by extreme weather or labour shortages.
Growing food during spring, summer and fall in the west shore region is achievable, with attention to soil and choice of plants. Backyard gardening can be your own contribution to food security for you or your neighbours.
Food collection drives:
Donation bins and drives are popular in the west shore region.
Bins are usually available outside local grocery stores, or in their entry areas, usually attended by volunteers.
- The three highschools within SD62 (Royal Bay Secondary in Colwood, Belmont Secondary in Langford, and EMCS in Sooke) are spreading out their “10,000 Tonight” drive over two weeks, due to the pandemic. Community Drive-Thru dates are: Tuesdays (November 30 and December 7) and Thursdays (December 2 and December 9). This program has been running for years (with students going door-to-door), adapted during COVID with the drive-thru option. To pay cash directly through the Sooke School District (SD62) that can be done online.
- The WorkLink Employment Society‘s “The More We Give” project has food collection bins Monday to Thursday outside both their offices (Westshore office at 3179 Jacklin Road, and Sooke office at 6625 Sooke Rd) from 1 to 4 pm, through to Thursday December 16.
Food supply stable as flood-impacted agriculture recovers (November 30, 2021)
Elxn44 ESS candidates: food sustainability on Vancouver Island (September 12, 2021)
Food Day BC: an opportunity to promote home-grown produce (July 31, 2021)
Growing food at SD62 schools includes summer work experience (June 4, 2021)
FOOD SUPPLY & HEALTHY EATING [Island Social Trends]
FOOD SUPPLY & THE ECONOMY [Island Social Trends]
===== About the writer:
Mary P Brooke has a B.Sc. in food and nutrition science, and a certificate in Public Relations. Early in her career she taught community nutrition and compiled nutrition guidance materials for government, before turning to a full-time career in journalism and newspaper publishing (now editor and publisher of Island Social Trends).