CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – For more than 850,000 Canadians, one-third of who are children, holiday menus at Christmas dinner tables are determined by what food is available at their local food bank.
In Prince Edward Island, an average of more than 3,200 people make use of their local food bank each month – and that number climbs even higher during the holiday season when there are extra demands on families’ limited resources.
One of the simplest ways to help feed hungry people in the community is during a regular grocery shopping trip. The Holiday Food Drive is happening now until Dec. 24 at all Atlantic Superstore, nofrills and Your Independent Grocer locations across the Island. Donations made in the food collection bins or at the checkout.
Atlantic Superstore, 465 University Ave. in Charlottetown, the Cornwall Your Independent Grocer and Shawn’s nofrills in Stratford are supporting the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry, while the West Royalty Atlantic Superstore, 680 University Ave., is supporting the Charlottetown Salvation Army. The Montague Atlantic Superstore is collecting donations for the Southern Kings and Queens Food Bank, and Macphee’s Market Your Independent Grocer in Souris is supporting the Souris Food Bank. The Summerside Atlantic Superstore and Kensington Your Independent Grocer are supporting the Summerside Salvation Army and in Alberton, Your Independent Grocer is collecting donations for the West Prince Caring Cupboard.
Donations of healthy non-perishable items such as peanut butter, canned meat and fish, cereal, pasta, rice, beans and other canned vegetables and fruits are ideal to contribute.
“When you are considering what to donate to any food drive, think about the staples that you buy for yourself or your family on a regular basis,” said Katelyn MacLean, registered dietitian at the Charlottetown and Montague Atlantic Superstore locations.
“You can make your donation dollars go even further by looking for items that are on sale.”
Cash donations are also appreciated.
Mike MacDonald, who represents the P.E.I. Association of Food Banks, says the Holiday Food Drive at Atlantic Superstore is one of the key campaigns for food banks across the province to help them through the holiday season and the months to come.
“We so appreciate the support from the stores in raising awareness of the need to donate, and from the customers and store staff for food and cash donations. Every single donation truly makes a difference in someone’s life.”
This year, with the help of all Canadians, the goal of the Holiday Food Drive is to raise $1.8 million and 1.3 million pounds of food for food banks across Canada.