This blog post is sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods.
The first few months of the year can be tough for Canadian families. Between the rising costs of food and leftover holiday bills, money can be pretty tight. In light of this, Maple Leaf Foods has started an initiative to alleviate some of the financial pressure that Canadian families are experiencing.
Since Family Day (February 15, 2015), Maple Leaf has begun giving 10,000 families across Canada $100 of free groceries, totalling nearly $100,000 in free groceries across the country. That’s a lot of free groceries!
The company has also acknowledged that this is a difficult time for not-for-profit organizations too, since donations tend to drop drastically after the holiday season. It’s easy to forget that these organizations need donations all year-long, not just from October to December, when you don’t rely on them for help yourself.
The reality is that 1 in 8 families, and 1 in 6 kids, face hunger on a regular basis. So you can see why these not-for-profit organizations that help get food to people are important.
To help these great causes, Maple Leaf has launched a Canada-wide Feed it Forward contest to help Canadians #FeedItForward, and give back to the volunteers that have made a deep impact on their lives.
This is where you come in!
Nominate a Food Hero
You can #FeedItForward by nominating someone in your community who is using food to make a positive difference in people’s lives. By nominating them, they could receive a $10,000 donation towards their organization and enjoy free Maple Leaf groceries for a year.
Oh, and you could have the opportunity to receive free Maple Leaf groceries for a year just because you nominated someone. How’s that for win-win?
To nominate someone today visit this website: Mapleleaf.com/feed-it-forward-donation and tell your heart-warming story of how that person (or organization) has gone above and beyond to support their community.
The nominee must volunteer with or work for a registered not-for-profit organization or community group (kids camp, community drop-in centre, school nutrition program, etc.) that uses food as a key component of supporting their program goals.
The nominee must also have a deep commitment to the organization based on either their years of service, contributions to advancing the organization’s food program or service delivery, commitment to go-above-and beyond to their defined roles and responsibilities.
You can find the full set of rules linked on the nomination page.
What I’m Doing to #FeedItForward
I’ll be honest with you – I haven’t donated to a charity in several months. As much as I think it’s important, the reality is that I just haven’t had the extra funds to donate, due to changes at work.
So when my friends and Maple Leaf asked me if I’d like to have $100 to buy groceries for a local not-for-profit organization, I jumped a the opportunity. I didn’t even need to think about where those groceries should go, because I already knew where I would be taking them.
I met Christina from Eden Food for Change last summer. She was helping to run the Farmers’ Market of Eden, which is held along with the Many Feathers Farmers Market (which I wrote about here).
She had told me about the great work that they were doing, which included not only running a food bank and running a summer market, but also teaching people about nutrition and food preparation. The organization has 190 regular volunteers who take care of the food distribution, food pickups, sorting, organizing food drives and fundraising.
When I spoke to Christina on the phone yesterday, she told me that their food bank actually accepts fresh food items. This was surprising to me, because I’ve always been told that food banks only take non-perishable items.
Christina explained to me that it was important for them to be able to offer fresh foods, as they are generally more nutritious than tinned or boxed foods. Most of their produce comes from the Ontario Food Terminal, but they rely on donations for items like milk, eggs, cheese, butter and meat.
Aside from the food bank, Eden Food for Change also runs a Fresh Produce Box program which is open to everyone. Here’s how it works:
“Everyone places their order online by Thursday at 4pm, making sure you select which location and time you would like to pick up your box from. Our volunteers then process all the orders so that when we go to the Ontario Food Terminal on Friday morning, we know how many large and small boxes we need to buy for to fulfill everyone’s orders.
Since we are buying in bulk, and many of the farmers and food vendors know we aren’t using this program to make a profit, we often can purchase items at a very good price. These are the same people who sell fruits and vegetables to many of our local grocery stores. After, we bring all the fruits and vegetables back to our Unity location, where a team of volunteers assembles all the boxes.
You can then come to your selected pick-up location and pay for your order, making sure you bring grocery bags to carry home your fresh produce. Make sure you order again the following week to enjoy affordable fruits and vegetables.”
To learn more about the program, visit the Eden Food for Change website.
This blog post is sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods.
My opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.
I donated $100 worth of groceries to Eden Food for Change (the contents of the shopping cart in the first photo).