Food has the power to bring people and communities together, particularly in times of crisis. Covid-19 has meant that record numbers of Edmontonians are relying on food security services like the Edmonton Food Bank and Meals on Wheels to supply them with groceries and ready-to-eat meals.
These organizations have always contributed to our food distribution landscape, and we want to focus today’s #LocalGoodnessYEG attention on the ways everyone can help these organizations (and other ones like them) contribute to Edmonton’s food security status using their time, money, and voice!
Why it matters
In March of this year, over 25,000 Edmontonians needed the help of their local food bank. In the same month, demand for Meals on Wheels went up 40%. These organizations provide essential services, and they need our help now more than ever to ensure that food is getting to people who need it most.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can help:
Monetary donations go a long way right now, especially since social distancing measures mean that the Food Bank can only bring in 25% of their normal volunteer capacity to sort through food donations. Meals on Wheels is also accepting monetary donations for those with the means to give. We’ve included a great list of resources below so you can get started.
Giving Your Time
Meals on Wheels needs drivers to get meals to those who need them most, as well as volunteers to acquire groceries and prepare meals. You may consider using your own means of transport to deliver meals.
The food bank is also accepting individual volunteers as well as small groups of up to four people to help them meet their immediate needs. If you’re feeling well and able, volunteers are what keep these essential organizations running.
Lending your Voice
If you have a story to share about food security, share it! It’s important to eliminate any stigma around needing food security services. We can all use a hand from time to time, and there’s no shame in accepting help.
Use your voice to convince others to join the cause. If you can’t give your time or money, connecting those who can to the cause helps further amplify the good we can do together.
How You Can Give Back Today
Looking for ways to give back and help ensure those in our community who need food security the most are getting it? Check out the resources below.
Edmonton’s Food Bank: Donations of non-perishable food are still being collected at major grocery stores. Be sure to check the list of most needed food items. Monetary donations can be made online or by texting FEEDYEG to 20222. Volunteers can also apply online.
Skip The Depot: Do you have unwanted bottles stacking up around the house? Download the Skip The Depot app to schedule a pickup. Then you can donate the proceeds from your recyclables to the Edmonton Foodbank by selecting the Edmonton Gleaners Association as your charity of choice!
Operation Fruit Rescue: While harvest season is still a ways off, Operation Fruit Rescue can help get your unwanted produce where it’s needed most. They’ll send volunteers to your home to harvest your produce and will split it between the volunteer pickers, yourself, the Operation Fruit Rescue Organization, and the Food Bank. Complete step one of the process and register yourself as a grower today, then all you’ll need to do is request a fruit rescue when your produce is ripe for picking later this year!
Even More Ways to Contribute:
Edmonton’s Foodbank has a great list of other ways you can donate. These include sourcing unwanted egg cartons, donating old vehicles, auctioning valuable items, and sharing your story. You can support other quirky ways as well, for instance by grabbing a #HinShirt and other Dr. Hinshaw-inspired swag from Print Machine’s #HereForGood shop, featuring artwork by Brendan Brown and Laurel Hawkwell. Proceeds go to our local Food Bank. Finally, use the hashtag #LocalGoodnessYEG to encourage others to support essential food services in Edmonton during this time. Not only will using the hashtag automatically enter you into a draw to win a gift basket full of local goodies, but you’ll be using your time and voice to support your community!