Help feed the hungry this holiday season

Holiday food donations

Now, more than ever, food banks need your support.

One-in-seven Canadians live in food insecure households. In March 2022 alone, there were almost 1.5 million visits to food banks across Canada—up 35 per cent compared to pre-pandemic visits. Household food insecurity refers to when a household has inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints.

While this is a Canada-wide problem, B.C. is not an exception. In this province, there was a 31 per cent jump in total food bank visits between 2019 and 2022.

The holidays are a time of joyful giving, however, some families are more concerned with having enough money for weekly groceries, let alone the gift their child asked for. It’s important we come together as a community to support local food programs so together we can provide some relief for food insecure families in (our communities) this holiday season.

Grocery stores like Peter’s Your Independent Grocer in Kelowna have been ardent supporters of the Central Okanagan Food Bank for decades.

“We’re very grateful for their continued support, and being committed partners by feeding hope through the nourishment of food to those in our community that need our help,” says Trina Speiser, director of development with COFB.

The West Kelowna and Kelowna food banks are prepared to hand out 3,250 hampers filled with thoughtful provisions to make the season bright and Peter’s Your Independent Grocer has been one of the stores instrumental in helping procure many of the hamper items.

You can help by contributing a cash donation, to be matched at the till, or to pick up one of the food bank's most needed items from Dec. 2 to Dec. 24 when visiting the store.

There are two ways community members can support their local food banks—donate funds or food. While food donations are always welcome, food banks also need cash donations in order to keep things running with critical infrastructure and to fill the gap when supplies are low.

The Central Okanagan Community Foodbank Society is always looking for:

• Mac and cheese

• Chunky soup

• Peanut butter

• Healthy cereal

• Rice

• Pasta

• Granola bars (nut-free)

• Canned meats

• Apple sauce cups

• Canned fruit

• Instant oatmeal

• Enfamil powder

• Boost

Next time you visit your local grocery store, think about giving the gift of food and pick up some extra items to add to the donation bins at the front of many stores. At Your Independent Grocer, you can also donate money at the cash register.

Trina Speiser is the director of development at the Central Okanagan Food Bank and Peter Boyd is the store owner at Your Independent Grocer in Kelowna.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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