For the third summer in a row, Gratitude Bag is helping to bridge the gap faced by Daily Bread Food Bank.
Donations to the food bank run strong around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but by the time summer comes, food stocks have dwindled and donations have dried up. Corporate food drives aren’t contributing in the same way, with many away from work during the summer months. Not only that, but kids aren’t benefiting from other support systems like breakfast programmes provided by schools.
Enter Gratitude Bag. It’s a simple concept: we’ll take the food drive straight to your door. Our grassroots volunteers — often students and young people looking to get their community service hours — deliver a red, reusable bag to your door in the morning. Throughout the day, we encourage you to fill the bag with non-perishable food items. The healthier the better.
Maybe it’s extra cans of tuna in the pantry, or the peanut butter you bought in bulk — every little bit helps. That evening, our volunteers will come back and collect the donations to deliver to fire halls across the city, and from there to Daily Bread Food Banks’ processing centre.
It’s simple, and effective. In the past two summers, we’ve raised over 30 tonnes of food for the food bank.
This summer, with the support from Coca-Cola Canada and local businesses, we’re expanding the program across the city, with a friendly neighbourhood competition to see which neighbourhood, 1000 homes at a time, can raise the most food in support of those who go hungry. We kicked off the campaign this summer with Councillor Paula Fletcher, Coca-Cola Canada president Christian Polge, Gail Nyberg of the Daily Bread Food Bank and Chief Dan Sells of the Toronto Fire Services on July 11th, and we hope you will participate if you find a red bag at your door.
Hunger is a real, moral issue in our city, and it doesn’t go away in the summer. In the absence of meaningful and long-term solutions to poverty, we can make a real difference by giving to the food banks. Over one million of our fellow Torontonians used a food bank last year, and at least one third were children. So, please give generously through the Gratitude Bag program, or, if we don’t come to your door, please consider dropping off your own donation directly to your local fire hall.
For more information, and to donate towards the costs of bags (and receive a charitable tax receipt), please visit www.gratitudebag.org.
Grant Gordon (@_GrantGordon) is the founder of Gratitude Bag.