Scaring hunger away takes more than a Halloween costume.

By Amy Van Es

 

It’s officially October, and temperatures are quickly dropping! During this time of year, Halloween, Thanksgiving and all the other cold weather holidays have us taking our big sweaters out of hibernation and dreaming about turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Unfortunately, though, not every family is going to have full stomachs this season. Food bank use in Canada was 28 per cent higher in 2016 than it was in 2008—less than a decade ago. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to take some time to consider helping your community fight food insecurity.

Food insecurity is a term used to describe the condition of individuals and families who don’t know where their next meal will come from or have anxiety over how to get nutritious meals onto their plates, due to low household income.

Hunger doesn’t have just one face, it affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. You never know who needs support. In fact, in Canada more than 850,000 people turn to food banks for help each month, and more than one third of those are children. So when your community comes to together to collect food for WE Scare Hunger—a WE Schools action campaign focused on local food collection for those in need—you’re helping ensure your classmates, neighbours and maybe even family members have food on the table for the coming months.

There are many ways you and your peers can help through the WE Scare Hunger campaign in the lead up to Halloween—both at home and in your school. Read on to get the inside scoop on how to scare hunger away this season!

On Halloween: Go trick or treating for canned goods.

Don’t worry, we’re not looking to drag down your fresh fall mood; we’ve made being a change-maker fun! Translation: You can help your community and raise awareness around the root causes of hunger this Halloween… while still rocking your Stranger Things costume. Because the truth of the matter is that there are few things scarier than one in nine people in the world today (that’s 795 million adults and children) being undernourished.

Rather than trick or treating for candy this year, how about collecting canned goods? Get all dressed up, grab your squad and hit the neighbourhood with your change-making spirit! Explain to the ghouls and goblins who answer the door that you’re trying to scare hunger by donating to your local food bank. Trust us, they’ll love it.

In School: Host a food drive with your class.

More than 40 percent of households receiving goods from food banks are families with children. Show support for your fellow students by holding a school-wide food drive! Put up posters, make morning announcements and position the collection bin somewhere that’ll grab the attention of your peers.

You can even make it a competition—if your school is the ra-ra-ra type. See which classroom can collect the most food and host a party for/gift a prize to the winners!

(If you’re in Canada, you can call up your Ford dealership and ask them to help with food pick-up and drop-off!)

For more information, download our WE Scare Hunger Campaign Guide.

At Home: Volunteer with your family at a food bank

Many food banks host dinners for those in need of a hot meal in your town. It takes a lot of volunteers to make a community meal run smoothly and serving those marginalized by food poverty can be a truly transformational experience. From arranging place settings and bussing tables to serving the food to community members, you’re sure to make some meaningful connections with people from diverse backgrounds. Like, did you know thirteen percent of people helped by food banks last year were immigrants and refugees? Get to know new community members better with a warm meal and an even warmer smile.

Whether you’re in the Canadian territories where 1 in 5 families uses food banks or in dense urban areas like Toronto and New York, there are people in your community silently being affected by food insecurity. Take part in WE Scare Hunger and help them lock down their next meal!

Find out more about how your family can help fight hunger in your community.

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