Great Canadian Lunch-In events planned across Canada to mark Hunger
Awareness Day (May 31), in support of the nearly 900,000 Canadians who
turn to food banks each month
TORONTO, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Having reached the highest recorded peak
for food bank usage in this country, Food Banks Canada is calling on
all Canadians to Make a Change and Make a Difference on Hunger Awareness Day tomorrow.
"Hunger is a persistent and growing problem in Canada. In 2010, nearly
900,000 Canadians turned to food banks for assistance each month and 38
per cent of them were children," says Katharine Schmidt, Executive
Director, Food Banks Canada. "However, if each Canadian made a small,
positive change, we could make a difference and address the problem of
hunger in this country."
Over the last two years, food bank use in Canada has risen by 28 per
cent following four consecutive years of decline. Today, more than 900
food banks and 2,900 affiliated agencies operate in communities across
Canada, supporting the needs of Canadians who do not have enough to
eat. Many of these organizations are struggling to meet demand,
especially during the summer months when the issue of hunger is not
always top of mind.
On Hunger Awareness Day, Food Banks Canada is asking all Canadians to
make a simple change that can impact the issue of hunger. Suggested
Change what you know about hunger - Get informed, learn how prevalent hunger is in Canada
and understand the issue by visiting www.foodbankscanada.ca
Change how you support your food bank - try volunteering, making a financial donation, or
donating most-needed food items, such as pasta, rice, canned meats,
fish, vegetables and fruits, powdered milk and baby food, to your local
Change how you talk about hunger - tell your MP you want to see it addressed, talk to your
friends about it, and add Hunger Awareness Day to your online profile
"It is disgraceful that in a country as wealthy as Canada, hundreds of
thousands of people do not have enough to eat," says Schmidt. "On May
31, I encourage all Canadians to make a change that will help solve
hunger in Canada."
Food Banks Canada is also inviting Canadians to make a difference by
participating in one of the Great Canadian Lunch-In events being hosted
by Food Banks Canada, provincial associations and food banks across
Canada to mark Hunger Awareness Day. The Great Canadian Lunch-In
events - a play on a "sit-in" - will be taking place in 28 cities and
communities across Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Regina,
Edmonton, Halifax and multiple locations in Quebec and Ontario
tomorrow. The Great Canadian national Lunch-In will be held in Toronto
at David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square) from12-1:30 p.m. on May
Individuals are invited to bring their lunch to the Lunch-In and to eat
together as a gesture of generosity and solidarity in acknowledging
hunger as a problem in Canada. Alternatively, individuals can fill
their lunch bag with a financial donation (the amount they usually
spend on lunch) or stuff it with a most-needed food item for a local
food bank such as pasta, rice, canned meats, fish, vegetables and
fruits, powdered milk and baby food.
Hunger Awareness Day would not be possible without the support of some
of Canada's leading corporate citizens. Food Banks Canada would like to
thank this year's Corporate Hunger Heroes who are vital to raising
awareness for the cause and are executing a number of events across the
country. These Heroes include, Campbell Company of Canada, ConAgra
Foods, Great West Life, Investors Group Inc., Kellogg Canada Inc.,
Kraft Canada Inc., McCain Foods (Canada), Quaker, Purolator Courier
Ltd., Sodexo and Sony of Canada. We would also like to thank our
Hunger Supporter, Radical Foundation.
For more information on Hunger Awareness Day or the Lunch-In events
please visit www.hungerawarenessday.ca.
About Hunger Awareness Day
Hunger Awareness Day was created to provide food banks with an
opportunity to educate about the reality of hunger in Canada and to
encourage all Canadians to make a choice to help those in need.
Although the first food bank was opened in 1981 as a temporary
emergency measure, food banks have become an unfortunate part of the
social safety net. Today, more than 900 food banks and 2,900 affiliated
agencies distribute groceries or provide meals for hungry Canadians.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing
the food bank community across Canada. Our members and their
respective agencies serve approximately 85 per cent of people accessing
emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short
term need for food and find long-term solutions to reduce hunger. Visit
www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
* Source: HungerCount2010, Food Banks Canada. For the complete 2010
HungerCount report please go to: http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/HungerCount.htm
SOURCE Food Banks Canada
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