2018 marked some of the deadliest storms in North American history. Many families are finding themselves without a home for the holidays, and stocks at food banks throughout North America are at their lowest. Food banks usually see a surge in demand during the summer months, depleting stocks just in time for fall fire and Hurricane seasons.
In Northern California, Bay area food banks are teaming up to aid victims of the tragic Camp Fire which destroyed approximately 19,000 buildings – many of them homes. United States Food Banks were also hit especially hard in 2017 and 2018, on the heels of Hurricane Maria in 2017, and Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018. Many food banks and food pantries are in evacuation zones and have closed.
The holiday season, as we anticipate feasting with family and friends, is a perfect time to think about helping to put food on the tables of those in need. According to the Center for International Disaster Information, the most efficient way individuals can help is by sending money to a relief agency. For every $1 a food bank gets, it can provide five meals.
While Canada did not experience the wrath of those disasters, there IS a storm of household food insecurity in Canada. This serious problem impacts physical, mental, and social health, and costs our healthcare system considerably.
It’s estimated, in fact, that 1 in 8 households in Canada is food insecure, adding up to over 4 million Canadians, including 1.15 million children.
This holiday season, before we lift our forks, it’s good to remember that we can lift our pens and send relief funds to organizations feeding the needy throughout North America.