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Food is extremely important in all of our lives.
It’s a part of each day, whether we are sharing it with others or enjoying it by ourselves. We make decisions as to whether we want to go to a restaurant to eat, cook something up in the kitchen or just take it easy and order something right to the door.
Whether your favourite food is pizza, salad, cookies or the many kinds of food out there, we all have opinions and preferences about the food we eat.
We can’t live without it.
This is why I find the statistics of hunger in our own backyard so disheartening.
Did you know…?
Over 15,000 people use the food bank in North York every month.
1/3 of food bank users are children.
54% of people using the food bank will miss a meal to pay other bills such as rent and transportation.
33% of the people we serve will go without food at least one day per week.
But what can we do?
As you may recall, a few months ago I told you about Niraj Maharaj, the coordinator of the Food 4 Thought Food Bank at York University. He saw the need for a food bank for students on campus and went to work making it happen. He’s not the only person from York University that is making changes in his community.
Recently, I got a chance to speak with Rumsha Siddiqui, a student at York U. She heard about hunger statistics in her class and was shocked that this is such a prominent issue in a city such as Toronto. Hearing about this problem made her motivated to make a difference.
“We are all part of one big community and it bothers me that some of us go to bed with a full stomach while others don’t. I felt the need to do something.”
Rumsha and her classmates banded together to raise awareness in the community and help their neighbours in need.
They visited schools to do presentations, teaching others about hunger in the city.
They approached local stores to sponsor their food drive.
They even ran a cotton candy event with the local student clubs to raise awareness.
Rumsha and a few of her fellow students also joined us in the warehouse to volunteer sorting thousands of pounds of food. She told me how she had a great time helping out. She said she admired the dedication of the volunteers and staff.
In total, the York University students managed to raise 5800 lbs. of food for their neighbours in need! With that incredible donation, 580 people in Toronto will receive a hamper full of good healthy food and be able to put food on the table tonight.
What advice does Rumsha have for anyone wanting to fundraise for charity?
“Reach out to local businesses – even if you get rejected, don’t give up! We ended up having 3 stores sponsor us and raised a lot of food. Don’t forget to reach out to your local community and give them the facts. Just like we had no idea how big of an issue hunger is in our city – most people are also shocked to find out.”
Rumsha had a great time fundraising for a cause she cares about and so can you!
The Every Plate Full Campaign is on right now and it’s such an easy and fun way to get together with your friends, classmates, coworkers or even just as an individual to raise money for people in need! Click here to find out more!