Satur­day is Make a Dif­fer­ence Day in Amherst

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - BY RON ROBIN­SON SPE­CIAL TO AMHERST NEWS Ron Robin­son is a mem­ber of the Amherst Food As­sis­tance Net­work board of di­rec­tors.

Satur­day, Sept. 23 is Make a Dif­fer­ence Day in Amherst.

The Cum­ber­land Y Ser­vice Club and Amherst Y’s Menettes will hold their an­nual fall food drive for the Amherst Food Bank on that day in con­junc­tion with other com­mu­nity vol­un­teers. Vol­un­teers will be go­ing door to door from 10 a.m. to noon col­lect­ing food items which will be dropped off and sorted at the Knights of Colum­bus Hall and then taken to the food bank.

Help­ing out will be mem­bers of the Amherst Ram­blers, army and sea cadets, girl guides, cubs and scouts along with oth­ers from the com­mu­nity. If you’re not go­ing to be home please leave your food bag on the front step.

If you would like to do­nate to the food bank but are won­der­ing what type of items are need­ed­sta­ples such as peanut but­ter, canned meats and tuna, canned fruit, ce­real, rice, pasta and pasta sauce, juice, mir­a­cle whip and may­on­naise, chunky soups, side­kicks, chil­dren’s lunch snacks and pud­ding are al­ways in de­mand. There is also an on­go­ing need for toi­letries and clean­ing sup­plies. The fall and spring food drives are cru­cial in help­ing to re­stock the food bank shelves.

Mon­e­tary do­na­tions are al­ways wel­comed and very much ap­pre­ci­ated. Cheques can be mailed to the Amherst Food As­sis­tance Net­work at P.O. Box 45, Amherst, NS B4H 3Y6.

Hunger Aware­ness Week is a grow­ing move­ment to raise aware­ness about the solv­able prob­lem of hunger in Canada. Each Septem­ber food banks across the coun­try host events dur­ing Hunger Aware­ness Week to tell the story of the work they do and the sto­ries of the hun­gry Cana­di­ans who use food banks.

Hunger is a per­sis­tent is­sue that ex­ists in Canada. There is hunger in Canada be­cause too many Cana­di­ans do not have enough in­come to pay for rent, bills, cloth­ing for grow­ing chil­dren, trans­porta­tion, med­i­ca­tion – and food. Food is un­for­tu­nately one of the most flex­i­ble house­hold ex­penses, and it is of­ten nu­tri­tion that suf­fers when money is tight. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Cana­di­ans use food banks be­cause they do not have enough money to feed them­selves or their fam­i­lies.

Hunger in Canada ex­ists be­cause deep and per­sis­tent poverty con­tin­ues in the coun­try. For more than a decade, di­verse and in­ter-re­lated fac­tors have sus­tained this sit­u­a­tion: a labour mar­ket that fails to pro­vide enough jobs with sta­ble, liv­able wages; a rise in pre­car­i­ous and non-stan­dard em­ploy­ment; a fray­ing in­come se­cu­rity sys­tem that does not pro­vide suf­fi­cient fi­nan­cial support for those in need; a lack of af­ford­able, so­cial hous­ing; and ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able child care. Peo­ple liv­ing in poverty can­not af­ford suf­fi­cient, nu­tri­tious food. Many turn to food banks to help them meet this most ba­sic need.

Hunger in Canada can be al­le­vi­ated. Ev­ery­one can play a part in re­duc­ing hunger. You can vol­un­teer at the lo­cal food bank, do­nate food and funds, ap­proach lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, join lo­cal Hunger Aware­ness ac­tiv­i­ties and events, spread the word at var­i­ous mi­lieus (work place, faith groups, schools, etc).

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