Toronto food banks prepare for Thanksgiving weekend
By Julia Grabowska
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, food banks all across the city are stocking up on food for the holiday weekend.
The Daily Bread Food Bank is just one of the places that hundreds of individuals turn to when it comes to meals.
Sarah Anderson, senior manager of communications at Daily Bread Food Bank said that Thanksgiving is a specifically important time when it comes to food donations.
“The reason it connects so much with people at this time is because (Thanksgiving) is focused on sharing what you have with family and friends,” Anderson said. “With that, people realize that there are people that can’t afford dinner on the table or may not have family or friends.”
Anderson stated that The Daily Food Bank provides food for 170 agencies and 200 different food programs across Toronto.
Not only does the Daily Bread Food Bank provide immediate help, but also ongoing support for those in need.
“We work closely with agencies to provide training and safe food handling,” Anderson said. “For long term focuses, we look at causes of hunger and how we can attach those problems. If you can reduce poverty, you can reduce hunger.”
Anderson added that the food that is distributed for Thanksgiving is usually collected in the spring, and donated money is used to buy items if there are any particular shortages.
The Daily Bread offers food to an average of 63,000 visitors a month, but Anderson said that in October numbers depend on how many people attend the programs.
“The best way to get involved is to visit the website. We post volunteer opportunities there,” Anderson said.
“You can donate food to our Thanksgiving drive at any local fire hall and grocery stores. Money donations can be made online, sent by cheque, also over the phone.”
Haven on the Queensway is one of the many agencies that work in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank.
Marta Pineda, administrative assistant for client services at Haven on the Queensway, said most of the food provided for their food bank is from Daily Bread and open to people located in Etobicoke South.
“We have several programs here but our main program is our food bank,” Pineda said. “We attend around 100 families every week which is about 350 people. All of our services are completely free.”
In terms of the upcoming holiday weekend, Pineda said that everybody deserves to have a meal on Thanksgiving.
“All families have the right to celebrate. Some people, unfortunately, don’t have the opportunity to do something special.”