Since 1981, World Food Day has been celebrated annually on October 16th. The United Nations established this day to raise awareness about world hunger and poverty, aiming to inspire global change. This year’s theme “Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind”, emphasizes the crucial role that water plays in our food production. Currently, a finite 2.5% of the world’s freshwater resources are under stress due to economic and environmental changes (1). However, water scarcity is not the only pressing concern. Food insecurity is prevalent at an alarming rate.
Addressing the co-existence of Hunger and Excessive Food Waste:
According to the United Nations, “Almost 1 billion tonnes of food (equivalent to 17% of all food available to consumers worldwide) is discarded each year”. So, on one end of the spectrum, a large percentage of the population is suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and on the other, there is an excessive food waste problem.
Though this food crisis does not have a straightforward solution, there are organizations dedicated to making a difference. For example, the app “Too Good To Go” rescues unsold food from restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, and sells it to consumers to combat food waste. If you plan to order in, opt for Too Good To Go next time.
One in ten people worldwide suffer from malnutrition (2), and over 3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet (3). From a local perspective, Statistics Canada, reports that nearly one in five households in Toronto face food insecurity.
The Relationship Between Nutrition and Mental Health:
Access to nutritious food doesn’t just impact our physical health. In fact, there is a direct link between the gut and the brain which is why a diet rich in nutritious food plays a pivotal role in mental well-being and can help individuals overcome challenges they face.
Across Boundaries’ Food Programs
Given the increasing cost of living and with grocery prices at an all-time high, the need to strengthen food security is greater than ever. Since many of our service users have fixed incomes, it is difficult for them to afford adequate food amidst these rising prices. As a result, our food program provides meals and meal supplements in various ways:
- Onsite Hot Meals: Daily, nourishing hot meals that include a light breakfast and a wholesome cooked lunch at our facilities along with a light evening meal.
- Hot Meal Deliveries: For those who are incapacitated and unable to cook for themselves, we offer hot meal deliveries to ensure food security and promote daily intake of healthy, nutritious meals.
- Grocery Hampers: To further support the well-being of our service users, we offer bi-weekly grocery hampers containing fresh fruits, vegetables, and essential staples, to maintain a healthy diet. Some individuals pick up these hampers, while others receive doorstep delivery from us.
As of 2022, we have proudly served or delivered over 11,000 meals and grocery hampers.
We know the need is still there, and many suffer in silence.
What can you do to help?
We challenge you to take action by getting involved in local initiatives. Here are a few practical tips to make a difference:
1. If you are a restaurant owner or a family that happens to have excess food at the end of the day, you can donate your leftover food to food banks (it must meet quality standards). Below are a few local food banks and organizations you can support:
2. This past month, we partnered with Maker Pizza to feed our service users in honor of World Food Day. Their generous gift card donations enabled us to organize and fund an educational pizza lunch. We are actively seeking donations for the next month to continue to support our mission. If you would like to donate, you can reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website here.