Next Monday is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving usually makes people think about the feast…turkey, stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables and pumpkin pie. But does it make you think of anything else?
Thanksgiving is a time to think of all the things we are thankful for in our lives…home, work, family, friends, health, love, laughter, and of course…food. For some, they can only wish to be thankful for a consistent supply of these things, especially food. This is when food banks become a life-saving measure for some.
In the week ahead (really, any time during the year), considering purchasing some extra items on your grocery list to donate to your local food bank. Anything you are able to provide is generous, however, consider what you are purchasing, just as if you are grocery shopping for your family.
People who access food banks may be more prone to unhealthful eating due to the unfair high cost of some healthy food and what’s available to them at the food bank. I’ve walked past several food bank bins over the years, and though I am happy to see the donations pile up, I’m sometimes dismayed by what I see…Kraft Dinner, cake mixes, chips, juice crystals, sugary cereals, etc.
Just because someone is accessing a food bank, doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled or don’t need healthy food choices. Think twice before placing an item in a donation bin. Ask yourself: Is it a heathy food choice? Would you but this for your family?
Here are some healthy food items to consider buying and donating to the food bank:
• Canned or dried beans
• Lower salt canned vegetables
• Lower sugar canned fruit
• Pasta sauce
• Peanut (or other nut) butter
• Tuna, canned in water
• Unsweetened applesauce
• Whole grain cereal
• Whole grain pasta
• Whole grain rice
If you are still unsure of what to purchase, call your local food bank and ask what they are in need of the most. Or, if you are able, consider providing a monetary donation. The food bank can use monetary donations to purchase shelf-stable foods that haven’t been already donated, or use the money to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit, meat or bakery items.
This Thanksgiving, consider making your local food bank “thankful” for your donation!
Bonnyville: Bonnyville Canadian Native Friendship Centre at 780-826-3374
Cold Lake: Cold Lake Food Bank c/o Community Baptist Church at 780-201-6589
Lac La Biche: Waskaysoo Community Food Bank at 780-623-3249
St. Paul: St. Paul and District Food Bank at 780-645-4548
If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!