5 reasons to donate to the food bank this holiday 

By: Cora Weekes - News Canada

5 reasons to donate to the food bank this holiday 

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, Charity, Food Bank, Donations, JOb Loss, Holiday Spirit, Holiday Cheer, Merry Christmas, Hunger 

(NC) Many of us are getting in the giving spirit. One of the most impactful ways people can help their community is by making a donation to the food bank. Here are five reasons why:

1. Food banks help Canada's most vulnerable populations.

More than 37 per cent of people helped by food banks are children and nearly half of the households helped have children. Some of the primary reasons people turn to food banks include sudden illness of family members, job loss and family breakup. People with physical or mental health issues, indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to food insecurity.

2. Donations make us feel good.

The benefits of charitable giving are well documented. Psychological benefits include a sense of moral satisfaction, improved self-esteem and a greater sense of human connection, but donating to charity may also have health benefits. Charitable giving has been linked to decreased blood pressure, reduced stress and increased life expectancy.

3. The majority of food bank support comes from people like you.

Donations of food and funds go a long way to ensuring people in need don't go hungry. “We are so grateful for the generosity of people across the country,” says Katharine Schmidt, executive director, Food Banks Canada. “While finding solutions to hunger is a complex undertaking, the support of community food banks is a huge step in ensuring we can relieve hunger today.”

4. Donations have a measurable benefit on communities.

Donations are critical to ensuring food banks are able to keep their doors open and lights on, put gas in the trucks to pick up donations and run essential programs that help individuals and families become more self-sufficient. More than half of all food banks operate food-focused programs like community kitchens, gardens and nutrition training, and almost 40 per cent of food banks direct clients to other support like employment, housing and healthcare.

5. Making a donation is simple.

“People can easily make a food or financial donation at any Loblaws, Your Independent Grocer or Real Canadian Superstore,” says Peggy Hornell, senior director of Community Investment. “If everyone in Canada donated just two items at their local store, we could meet the monthly demand on food banks for months to come.” While cash donations give the food bank flexibility to purchase the items they need the most, food donations are also important. More information can be found at foodbankscanada.ca.