This summer, Food Banks Canada is challenging Canadians to do what they do and feed themselves for one day on a budget of a single loonie. It’s called the Summer Hunger Challenge, and not only are we helping to make it happen, we’re also taking the challenge ourselves.
We sent a team out to see what groceries they could buy for a dollar. Some literally spent just one dollar, while others broke their purchases down and costed them by serving. Everyone who participated was amazed at how hard it was! Instant noodles and off-brand products were a common thread. It was nearly impossible to use any fresh fruit or produce, and most had to settle for tap water to drink.
Our kitchen staff created a day’s worth of low-cost recipes. Total cost: 98 cents for oatmeal, vegetable & bean soup with flatbread, and chickpea shakshuka. The universal complaint for everyone at Nourish who took the challenge; trying to find enough calories to make it through the day.
Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation
The purpose of the Summer Hunger Challenge isn’t just to showcase how effective Food Banks Canada is at utilizing donations. During the summer months, there is an increased demand for meals, partly because kids are home from school. School food programs take a summer break, but kids still need to eat.
At the same time, donations fall to their lowest levels of the year. People are thinking about their own vacations and summer schedules, and charity isn’t top of mind like it is during the fall and winter holiday seasons.
What can you do to help?
Food Banks Canada wants Canadians to take the Challenge and then make a donation to help end summer hunger. Using the hashtag #SummerHungerChallenge on social media will spread awareness of the issue, and a dedicated website provides information, donation tracking, and help to get teams and individuals started on their fundraising. The campaign runs from May 28-June 8 and the goal is to raise $500,000.
If you’d like to know more about the #SummerHungerChallenge, we invite you to visit the Every Plate Full website. Take the challenge and share the results on social and with us. Good luck!