Spring is finally in the air!! As we all look forward to wearing less layers of clothing, we can also look forward to gardening plans and summer plans. For many of us, we are very fortunate in the sense that we go to the grocery store to pick up fresh produce and weekly staples as needed to make our weekly meals. This is not always the case for all Canadians.
According to Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount 2018 report, there were 1.1 million visits to food banks in March 2018 and overall, 35 per cent of those who visited the food bank last year were children.
During the winter, donations to the local food bank peak around the holiday season, but they are often at their lowest in the spring and summer months. This spring, as we gather around our dinner tables to eat together with our family and friends, let’s think of our neighbours and share what we can with others.
When grocery shopping, pick up an extra can of PC Blue Menu no salt added beans or vegetables to add to the donation bin at the front of your local store. You could also consider picking up a bag of dried fruit or dried fruit bars. Canned fruit and apple sauce can always be a good option as well, just be sure to look for no sugar added options. When looking at other non-perishable items, consider whole grain cereals that have less than 8 grams of sugar per serving and have more than 4 grams of fibre per serving.
While non-perishable food items are always put to good use, monetary donations are also very useful to local area food banks, as it allows them the flexibility to purchase fresh grocery items such as in-season, local produce, as well as dairy products, meat, and bread.
Whitney is a registered dietitian with Hakam’s Your Independent Grocer. He/She is part of a network of more than 70 dietitians who provide services like one-on-one consultations, assisted shopping, school tours and recipe ideas at locations across the country. To book an appointment, please visit bookadietitian.ca.