Two hundred and ninety-seven

Canned goods

Campbell soup cans, made famous by Andy Warhol in 1962 - from hybridideas.ca

I remember when I still lived with my parents how I loved the days when mom would say we needed to go through the cupboards to collect canned goods for whichever charity was coming by to collect that week.  It was fun and hilarious to find old cans of diced tomatoes or thirteen boxes of Lipton’s soup (see post about my mom’s stockpiling habits).  And it always felt great to give the stuff away that we will never use.  It was a purging and a giving experience.

Now that I live on my own, I keep a lot less canned goods in my house.  First, there really is not that much space in Toronto apartments.  Second, I definitely don’t have the stockpiling ‘gene’ in me.  As part of my month of good deeds, though, I wanted to revisit this tradition of giving food to the food bank.  Although I gave a significant amount of money to the Daily Bread Food Bank last month, I still wanted to give non-perishable goods too.

I knew the Metro near my house has a donation bin at the exit.  I always thought I should buy a few extra things and put them in there on my way out (I am a little ashamed that I don’t do this on a regular basis already).  Yesterday I did just that.  I tried to buy healthier optioned non-perishables.  I bought soup, natural peanut butter, oatmeal, multigrain crackers, and cinnamon tea.  Sometimes when I saw an item on sale that I was buying for myself, I’d pick up a second one to put in the bin.  On the way out I emptied my one grocery bag into the donation bin.  It felt pretty good.

According to Daily Bread Food Bank’s 2011 Profile of Hunger in the GTA, the number of client visits to all food banks in the GTA was just over 1 million.  Out of those food bank clients 46% of them have not eaten for an entire day due to lack of money.  After rent and utilities, the average food bank client has only $5.67 left per day for food.  That’s not very much to eat three meals with.  That also leaves a lot of food that needs to be donated by those who have the means.  I’m glad I could help out and I’m going to try and buy at least one extra thing every time I go to the grocery store to put in the donation bin.  If everyone who can did this, there would be a lot more food to fill those over 1 million visits.