On the heels of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy comes Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for people to make a difference in their community by making a donation to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
This year on Giving Tuesday, we are asking the community to participate in #24HoursofGiving and help raise 1,500 healthy hampers for people struggling to put food on the table. The campaign kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on December 3, 2019.
The reality is hunger can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. Every day in Waterloo Region people are forced to make impossible choices: pay their rent, buy their child a winter coat, cover an unexpected medical cost and put food on the table. Last year, 34,552 people accessed food assistance locally.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to why 1 in 20 households in Waterloo Region are struggling to put food on the table, with the driving force being low income and poverty. With the cost of food – especially healthy food – and housing quickly outpacing the growth of median incomes, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people of all demographics to afford food.
Did you know the current cost of eating healthy for a family of four in our community is $875.92 per month? That’s a $40.49 (4.9%) per month increase since 2017.
Waterloo Region resident, Sheri Keffer – who is part of the #24HoursofGiving campaign – knows first-hand what it is like not to have food on the table. Growing up, her family faced a number of challenges that made it difficult to afford food: her father was unable to work due to a serious workplace injury and her mother stayed at home babysitting children to help make ends meet.
“It was very hard on my Dad. While he was waiting to receive his work-place injury benefits during the holidays, he wasn’t able to provide us with gifts and food for a Christmas meal [like we always had],” shared Sheri Keffer, former food bank recipient and current supporter. “Receiving a Christmas hamper with food and some gifts for my brother and I provided the support we needed to celebrate and get through a difficult time.”
She adds it was during difficult times that she realized and understood the generosity of the community.
“It was times like that when I realized our community was there for us when we needed the help,” she explains. “I decided as soon as I was able, I would give back so other families could feel the support of their community and make their days a little brighter. I hope everyone who is able can make a donation today to help a struggling family have a brighter and happier holiday season.”
For many, the holiday season means getting together with friends and family to enjoy delicious home cooked meals. But not everyone is so fortunate. Today, we are asking the community to spread Christmas cheer by supporting #24HoursofGiving and help us raise 1,500 healthy hampers for the 14,469 families in need of food assistance in Waterloo Region.
Healthy hampers provide a balanced selection of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food items that reflect Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. Hamper items may include: fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, a variety of protein options as well as canned and boxed items. Each hamper is estimated to last each household 3 to 4 days. Hampers also include essential non-food items, like oral hygiene, baby care products, feminine hygiene and household cleaning supplies.