June 2, 2009
In a country as wealthy as Canada it is hard to imagine there are people who do not have enough to eat. But hunger is a serious issue in Canada and not just in third world countries. In fact, individuals and families in almost every community across Canada are living with hunger. In this challenging economic climate, more Canadian families are struggling to meet basic needs as the "working poor" and food bank demand is increasing.
In 2008, more than 700,000 Canadians were assisted by community food banks each month and more than a third of those who received assistance were children. The purpose of the day is “to urge our citizens to unite on one day and recognize the fundamental needs of families when it comes to hunger." The Right Honorable Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean says,
"While all children are born equal they don't have the same opportunities to flourish. This is as true for children here as it for children in the third world."
This year, in honor of National Hunger Awareness Day on June 2, and to ensure community food banks can keep their shelves stocked all summer, Food Banks Canada is calling on Canadians to take a simple action to help reduce hunger in their communities.
Food Banks Canada is asking all Canadians to make a small monetary donation to their local food banks during the Kraft Hunger Challenge. From June 2-12 Kraft Canada will match donations made to food banks across Canada dollar-for-dollar up to a national total of $150,000. Traditionally, the summer is a particularly challenging period for community food banks.
Other major companies like Campbells have become involved as well. Campbell Company of Canada is partnering with Food Banks Canada to launch its Help Hunger Disappear™ campaign on National Hunger Awareness Day, June 2, 2009. Campbells is creating a high-impact display of the word “HUNGER” out of thousands of cans of Campbell’s Tomato soup. The award-winning concept was first brought to life in Toronto in 2008. This year, launch events will take place in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. Members of the public and media are invited to take down a can and donate it to the on-site food bank truck as a symbolic gesture to help make “HUNGER” disappear. Beyond these events, Campbell Canada’s goal is to double last summer’s donation to 100,000 cans of Campbell’s Tomato soup. At participating grocery stores across Canada, coupons will trigger Campbell donations to local food banks and provide instant dollar savings for shoppers. Online, Facebook users can send virtual cans of soup to friends, and for every can accepted, Campbell will donate one real can to Food Banks Canada. Campbell’s summer donation will be in addition to its average annual donation of 1.5 million pounds of food to Food Banks Canada over the past five years.
Please visit the hunger awareness site here for more information.
In honour of National Hunger Awareness Day, my community Food Banks are trying to raise much-needed funds for Canada’s hungry.
Current Food Bank Wish List:
Powdered baby formula
Size 4 and 5 diapers
Baby biscuits & arrowroot biscuits
Whole Grain Pasta, Organic Pastas, Rice Pastas
Boost/ Carnation Breakfast/ Ensure, etc.
Low calorie soups (Healthy Request, Low Fat/ Low Salt, Organics)
“Low Sodium,” “Sugar Free,” and “No Salt.”
Canned Fruits, Vegetables, and Legumes
Canned and powdered milk
Dry(Spaghetti, Macaroni, Lasagna, Egg Noodles)
Canned Meats and seafood
Side dishes (Sidekicks, Kraft Dinner, Macaroni & Cheese)
Meal in a Can (Chili, Ravioli, Chunky Soup, Spaghetti, etc)
Canned tomato and pasta sauces
Healthy granola snacks.
In honour of Hunger Awareness Day I prepared a side dish of the humble potato with Campbell's mushroom soup and Kraft Cheddar in honour of the initiatives by these two companies mentioned above, as well as donated food items to my local Food Bank. As you can see the Food bank Wish list asks for Kraft Dinner, and other processed foods which I personally don't find to be a healthy alternative, so I donated what I thought would be nutritious and appreciated alternatives.
**The Ultimate Scalloped Potatoes**
8 cups thinly sliced and peeled potatoes
1 large onion
1 tablespoon butter/garlic butter
8-12 large fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2%)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
Combine soup, milk and spices in a bowl. Sauté thinly sliced onion rings in 1 tablespoon butter.
Lightly oil a casserole dish or glass lasagna pan with olive oil.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer in bottom of dish. Drizzle soup mixture over top.
Arrange onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle cheese over each layer.
Continue to layer in this manner until all ingredients are used up.
Bake at 375°F for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes reach desired texture.
For a crispy top layer, uncover during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.
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