Passionate About Food? Support Local Food Banks In The Community

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Nations around the world are facing food shortage problems. At the same time, food wastage is a growing issue within cities and highly developed countries. This contradiction points to a broken system of distribution and access. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 3 billion people have no access to healthy diets due to the high cost of food, which adds to the global issue of hunger and food insecurity.

Restaurants, supermarkets, and food manufacturers consider food banks an effective way to manage their food waste for environmental and social benefits. While organizations like the WFP and other volunteer-funded NGOs operate internationally, those who live closer to the problem can also help fight hunger within our communities.

What are food banks?

Food banks often operate as warehouses that supply food to intermediaries like soup kitchens, charities, and food pantries. In Canada and the US, food banks are run by charities and religious institutions that ask for food donations that would otherwise go to waste and are usually run by volunteers.

Most donated food comes from overproduction, such as farmers with excess yield, growers with ugly produce, or manufacturers with unsold stock. All food available through the food bank is ensured to be legal and passed safety standards for eating.

Why are food banks important?

Food banks help to address the health disparities experienced within the community. Although the charitable food system exists for vulnerable people, most individuals who benefit from food banks may include the unemployed or unable to work due to disability. When a parent has no means to feed the family, food banks become a critical healthy food source to get by.

Why do food banks exist?

With the thousands of food banks in the country, food banking is a proven solution to the problem of food waste. There is enough food, but much of it goes unused, so community pantries and food drives have become excellent initiatives to rescue perfectly edible food before they go to waste.

However, there’s a stigma associated with food bank users, especially among individuals who find themselves in situations of extreme need for the first time. According to psychologists, it’s common to feel embarrassment, shame, and anxiety among food bank users. Still, an active volunteer network can help dispel the fear of reaching out to charities for help.

Food banks that care

The popularity and growing scale of food banks may mean that more people are experiencing food insecurity. Still, they are also examples of an active, caring community. While some experts believe that food banks are inefficient and unsustainable, the reality is that solutions also come from volunteers and not just from the people in institutions.

Our passion for food should be about sharing it with others rather than having it all to ourselves. We can participate in our community by donating to local food banks, volunteering, or simply spreading the word.


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