news&views Winter 2023 | Page 32


Sheila Bean
ARTA member Debbie Piquette Roney picks fruit for the
Life Cycles Fruit Tree Project on Vancouver Island .

Food Volunteers

Rising food costs and other circumstances have many people scrambling to fill their fridges and their bellies . Newcomers to Canada , people without a home , adults with low-paying jobs , university students , seniors , school children — the community of hungry people is vast and varied .
Another community — volunteers all over Canada — are helping to meet this need with food banks , school lunch programs , and other creative and practical programs . If you ’ re looking for a volunteer opportunity , here are a few food-related ideas .
Food Banks
People who struggle to pay for groceries might be eligible to use a food bank . Food banks purchase some of their fresh , frozen , and non-perishable food and receive donations from individuals , farms , and corporate partners , such as grocery stores .
At the Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna , for example , volunteers sort food , help with special events , and even work as parking attendants . Volunteer shifts are three hours long , and you can schedule yourself for once a week or every day .
School Lunches
A child with an empty tummy has to work extra hard at school . In Calgary , a volunteer program called Brown Bagging for Calgary ’ s Kids ( BB4CK ) makes and delivers nutritious and discreet brownbag lunches to schools all over Calgary . In Medicine Hat , the Brown Bag Lunch program ’ s volunteers prepare daily lunches for up to 900 children over three school districts .
Check for a similar program in your community . You might also contact a school directly and ask what they need . Some keep stores of fruit cups , tuna-and-cracker kits , or cereal and milk .
Sometimes a restaurant or bake shop ends the day with unsold sandwiches , quiche , or other food , or people have extra potatoes and apples from their backyard . Rather than throw it into the compost , they donate to the Leftovers Foundation , which rescues leftover food in Hinton , Airdrie , Lethbridge , Red Deer , Edmonton , and Calgary .
Volunteers pick up donated food and deliver it to service agencies . Sometimes large donations go to warehouses , where volunteers separate and repack the food .
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Read more about two members ’ volunteer experiences at bit . ly / FoodsSidebar