For this month, I would like to pay homage to a very important non-profit organization in which most of us have a local one in our backyards. Canadian Food Banks.
In an average month in 2010, close to 870,000 different people accessed food banks, 38% of who were children.
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization that represents the food bank community across Canada. Their members, which are affiliate member food banks and their respective agencies, serve approximately 85% of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. This organization also works to continue to find short-term and long-term solutions for the nearly 870,000 Canadians who are assisted by a food bank every month.
Food Banks Canada’s mission is to reduce hunger in Canada by enabling an effective food bank community that addresses the short-term need for food and longer term solutions.
In 2009, Food Banks Canada moved over 10 million pounds of food industry donations to its members through the National Food Sharing System, with almost exclusively donated transportation. In addition to food received from Food Banks Canada, community-run food banks rely primarily on volunteers to collect and distribute an estimated 150 million pounds of food per year.
Hunger Facts 2010
How many are being helped by food banks?
- Number of people assisted by a food bank in March 2010: 867,948 – the highest level on record
- Number helped by food banks for the first time: 80,150 - 9% of the total
- Number of meals served by food banks in March 2010: 3,459,544 – 6.4% higher than 2009
- Number of food banks in Canada: 900+ food banks and 2,900+ affiliated agencies
- Number of provinces & territories without a food bank: 0
- Years since Canada’s first food bank opened in Edmonton: 29
Who are food banks helping?
- 38% of those helped are children and youth
- 51% of assisted households are families with children
- 38% are single people
- 11% are couples without children
- 17% of assisted households have income from current or recent employment
- 15% receive disability-related income supports
- 7% are on a pension
- 51% receive social assistance benefits
- 85% live in rental accommodations
- 6% own their own home
Check out Canadian Food Banks list of members to find a local food bank nearest to you.