Things I learned while collecting for the local food bank …
Not to be confused as scientific research.
1. Kraft Dinners: the #1 stale-dated item donated. (I confess my own guilt to giving items that I thought I’d use, but didn’t) Does best before date honestly apply to Kraft Dinner?
2. Good Weather is a bonus for the door to door walkers! (Volunteers collected 30,000 pounds in our town of 18,000.)
3. Dogs greeted me more often than people, 85% of homes I went to had dogs, 50% of those had more than one. Perhaps their bark was worse than their bite, but I was very thankful for any barrier between myself and them. I don’t think any dog food was collected, but cranberry sauce and left over stuffing mix were.
4. How to catch an escaping Chihuahua dog – as the owner put her phone down to get her food donation.
5. Betty’s friend just had her breast removed. (Not knowing either of them, I don’t know that I needed to know that)
6. Austin, age 7, claimed he could whistle-but apparently not, however, he was impressed with my whistle. He also claimed the white truck parked on the road was his, and that he was working with his grandpa. Grandpa did not come to the door, but Austin’s friend contributed four cheese string snacks to the food drive.
7. Teens in charge of the house will donate a can of sardines.
8. Hot dogs are better Hot. (Note to volunteers, go early for complementary food.)
9. I know which houses to return to for the Halloween collection. They look like fun.
10. Top benefits: Satisfaction of Volunteering, renewed awareness that Many small contributions make a BIG difference.
I was not sure how to interpret the above sign, but when a large dog echoed this greeting, I applied it to my immediate situation, and vacated the doorstep.
Things I learned while writing this blog: World Food Day is Oct 16 and was started in 1945.
Consider these Canadian figures from – HungerCount 2013:
36.4% of those turning to food banks are children and youth
4.3% of adults helped are over age 65
11.3% of people assisted are Aboriginal
50% of households helped receive social assistance
11.5% have income from current or recent employment
16.4% receive disability-related income supports
8% of food banks ran out of food during the survey period
50% of food banks needed to cut back on the amount of food provided to each household
Many modern countries experience both hunger and food waste on a large scale. Last month I attended a film that featured Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin, a Vancouver couple and their concern about the amount of wasted food. Their award winning film Just Eat It, documents their challenge to live six months on waste/outdated food. Below is the link to the movie trailer – absolutely worth the click to preview, less than 2 min.
None of the above information is intended to induce guilt, in fact I had a snack while typing.