Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons remind us to share earth’s bounty, but food insecurity is not seasonal, it’s a year round problem. The number of people calling on Greater Toronto Area food banks for support is rising, with over 1 million visits annually.
Our circumstances can change overnight when unemployment, serious illness, disability or tragedy strikes and we may find it necessary to visit a food bank to help feed our family.
The Who’s Hungry 2014 Report, a Daily Bread Food Bank annual survey of almost 1,000 food bank clients, revealed that 34% have a college diploma, bachelor’s degree or higher. It’s hard to imagine that, in a modern city like Toronto, 36% of respondents must sometimes go an entire day without eating, due to lack of money.
At this year’s Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) show in Toronto, exhibitors generously supported the Daily Bread Food Bank by donating over 30,000 lbs of food and beverages. As a non-profit, charitable organization, the Daily Bread Food Bank serves Toronto through a network of 140 member agencies that operate almost 200 food banks and meal programs. They rely on food processors and retailers for approximately two-thirds of donations.
There is always a need of non-perishable packaged foods, as well as fresh produce, refrigerated and frozen items. Food deemed unsuitable for retail is accepted including overstock, close to code, refused retail shipments and damaged product. Of course food must be safe to eat, wholesome and properly packaged and labelled.
Businesses donating food in good faith are absolved of any liability under the Good Samaritan Law (An Act Respecting the Donation of Food, Ontario 1994).
Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, reminds food manufacturers and retailers that donating surplus food is a great way to help people struggling with hunger in your community, while reducing food waste, disposal costs and impact on landfills. Pick up can be arranged for a full pallet minimum quantity.
Contribute to the wellbeing of your community by donating to local food banks, because corporate social responsibility makes good business sense.
For more details about corporate food donation, contact your local food bank or Daily Bread at 416.203.0050 http://www.dailybread.ca/getinvolved/for-companies/food-and-other-in-kind-donations/
Birgit Blain is president of Birgit Blain & Associates Inc., packaged food specialists. Her team prepares brands for the next stage of growth. Birgit’s experience includes 17 years in the grocery trade with Loblaw Companies and President’s Choice®. Learn more at www.BBandAssoc.com