World Food Day – 3 Ways to Support Food Banks

supporting food banks

Few things bring people together more than a home-cooked meal. Sitting down at the dinner table for a delicious meal with close friends or family is the perfect way to catch up, unwind and bond.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the means to afford home-cooked meals, which is why supporting your local food bank is incredibly important. 

World Food Day is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to support those in need. Today’s article will briefly overview World Food Day, provide valuable tips, and list the best items to donate to food banks.

Continue reading to get started.


What is World Food Day, and why is it important?


For those who don’t know, World Food Day is an annual event that’s been celebrated across the globe for several decades. Every October 16th, people get together to commemorate the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. 

World Food Day’s primary purpose is to promote awareness for people who suffer from hunger and food insecurity. World Food Day also focuses on the important link between food security and agriculture.

If you’re looking for a practical way to celebrate World Food Day, you should consider donating to a food bank in your area.


Helping your local food bank on World Food Day


Although Canadian food banks receive some form of government funding, they rely heavily on volunteer donations.

Have you wanted to learn how to help food banks in your area? The team at Seasons Retirement Communities has put together a quick list of helpful tips that you can use to lend your support:


Tip #1 — Donate Your Time


Volunteering at a local food bank is a great way to give back to your community and help those in need on World Food Day. Canadian food banks count on volunteers for a wide range of tasks, some of which include:


  • Preparing meals
  • Organizing donations
  • Preparing and delivering care packages
  • Serving food


Many food banks need volunteers with niche skills, like bookkeeping, so mention any special skills when you’re looking to lend a hand.

Volunteering is an excellent pastime for people of all ages, but it’s particularly beneficial for older adults. Older adults who volunteer regularly tend to have:


  • A reduced sense of loneliness
  • A clearer sense of purpose
  • More opportunities to meet new people and make friends
  • Reduced risk of developing dementia


Feel free to look at our previous blog post to learn more about the benefits of volunteering for older adults.


Tip #2 — Donate Home Grown Produce


Few things taste better than homegrown produce! It’s sweeter, crisper and undeniably fresher. Unfortunately, many Canadians don’t have the time or money to invest in a garden.

If you or one of your loved ones is an avid gardener, you most likely have more produce than you know what to do with by the end of the season. Instead of letting the abundance go to waste, you and your loved one can donate the fruits of your labour to a local food bank.

However, before heading to your local food bank, we suggest double-checking that they accept fresh fruits and vegetables. If your local food bank doesn’t take homegrown produce, you can ask them if they know of a nearby food bank that does.


Tip #3 — Scan Through Your Pantry


Is your pantry starting to look cluttered? Can you remember the last time you took inventory of and organized your canned goods? If it’s been a while, now is the perfect time.

Taking a few hours to organize your pantry allows you to set a few items aside for your local food bank. Canned goods are always at the top of any food bank’s “grocery” list, so reserving a few for your neighbours in need won’t hurt.

Going through your pantry is more cost-effective than going to the store to purchase your donations. Instead of visiting a grocer to purchase your contributions directly, you can clear up space in your pantry and help others by setting aside some unused canned goods.


12 of the best food items to donate to a food pantry


Although food banks are happy to receive donations from volunteers, certain items are more in demand than others.

Here’s a quick list of 12 of the most highly requested food pantry items:


  • Applesauce
  • Canned chicken and fish
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Crackers
  • Cooking oils
  • Healthy snacks (whole wheat crackers, granola bars, etc.)
  • Nuts
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, low-sugar peanut butter, etc.)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Soups, stews, chilis, etc.
  • Shelf-stable boxed meals


4 things you shouldn’t donate to your local food bank


Even if your heart is in the right place, many food banks turn down donations if they don’t meet specific requirements. Knowing what to donate to food banks is incredibly important when you want to get the most impact out of your dollar.

As a rule of thumb, we suggest that you avoid including the following types of food items in your donation:

  • Unhealthy foods (chips, cookies, candy, etc.)
  • Food in glass jars and cellophane packages (due to their breakability during transit)
    • Look for non-perishable items in metal or plastic containers instead
  • Food items that need special equipment to open
  • Expired food items


Contact Seasons Retirement Communities to learn how you can help.


At Season Retirement Communities, we encourage our residents to volunteer and give back to their communities in many ways. Our team also understands the importance of eating healthy, delicious food, particularly for older adults.

Seasons communities often have food drives or other initiatives to support local food banks. Contact us today to learn more!

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