Take a new perspective during Hunger Awareness Week

Food Banks Canada wants to interrupt our fascination with food by instead putting the focus on hunger.

Hunger Awareness Week serves to interrupt our fascination with food by instead putting the focus on hunger.

Hunger Awareness Week serves to interrupt our fascination with food by instead putting the focus on hunger.

“Foodie culture” is everywhere today.

Before we go out to dinner, we spend 20 minutes searching through food blogs and Yelp reviews. There are marathons of cooking competition shows to watch and scrutinize. Our social media feeds are riddled with carefully edited photos of our friends’ latest meals, with the hashtag #nomnomnom.

This year, Food Banks Canada wants to interrupt our fascination with food by instead putting the focus on hunger. This week, September 21 to 25, is National Hunger Awareness Week.

Food Banks Canada statistics show that more than 200,000 Canadians go hungry each week and food banks usage has increased by 25 per cent over the last seven years.

Right here in Chilliwack, we see a struggle to keep up with the increased demand at our local food bank.

“We are asking Canadians to stop and take a moment out of their food-crazed lives to consider the other side of things: hunger,” says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director at Food Banks Canada.

Since 2008, Hunger Awareness Week provides a time to educate the public about the reality of hunger in our communities and to encourage Canadians to make a choice to help those in need.

Locally, the Mainland Milk Producers Association has announced that Fraser Valley dairy farmers are donating $100,000 worth of fresh, locally produced milk to food banks across the valley to support families who need it. The milk donations will begin in late September and continue for up to a year.

“Fresh milk is so appreciated by the children and families that need assistance from their local food bank. When you consider that one of every three food bank users is a child, you can see why this donation of fresh milk will make such a big impact,” says Laura Lansink, Executive Director at Food Banks B.C.

As you sit down at your table this week, instead of thinking about what filter will make your food look the most appetizing, consider what you can do to address the solvable problem of hunger.

The Chilliwack Community Food Bank is located at 45746 Yale Road. Most needed items include canned meats, beans and soups, dried pastas, and fruits and vegetables.

To learn more, visit foodbankscanada.ca and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TweetsOfHunger.