Food insecurity is a real issue in Nova Scotia. According to Feed Nova Scotia, more than 41,000 Nova Scotians were supported by food banks in 2017, and 1/3 of these recipients are children.
It’s a sad reality that 15.4 per cent of Nova Scotian households are considered “food insecure,” which means they lack reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food.
This is why IAMAW Local Lodge 2797’s Women’s Committee decided to support Feed Nova Scotia.
“It’s important that we look at all issues that have to do with family dynamics within the home,” explained Sarah Covey, Chair of our Women’s Committee.
“And we try and focus on local organizations that benefit all of our communities.”
1,970,623 kilograms of food was distributed through Feed Nova Scotia in the 2017/2018 year: this includes non-perishable goods, perishables, pet food, and even menstrual supplies, which are provided through a partnership with Dignity Period. All of the items that are donated or purchased by the organization need to be checked to ensure they are fresh/undamaged, then sorted and packaged to be distributed throughout the province.
It’s a task that requires a lot of helping hands.
Enter the volunteers: more than 30,000 volunteer hours were donated last year to the organization to help make sure food gets to people who need it. Our local lodge is just one of 123 volunteer groups that are trying to help with the task. So far, our Women’s Committee has visited Feed Nova Scotia on three separate occasions to sort and package donations.
On Tuesday, June 11th, they repackaged 250 ml milk containers, checking their expiry dates, making sure the cartons weren’t damaged, sorting them into 15 kilogram groups and moving them onto pallets to be distributed throughout the province. On past visits, our group has helped sort imperfect produce that has been donated by farmers (approximately 15 per cent of Feed Nova Scotia’s donations come directly from farmers).
Our Women’s Committee plans to meet again in September and will probably hold another volunteer date with Feed Nova Scotia after that meeting. Anyone interested in joining the committee or volunteering with any of their events should contact Sarah Covey at [email protected].
For more information on food banks in Canada, please visit https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/