Food banks are “the canary in the coal mine” says a recent report by Food Banks Canada; an indicator of our national wellbeing. When food banks thrive with full shelves and a manageable number of visitors, we can be confident that communities are well and the most vulnerable have access to resources and supports.

That isn’t the case anymore – those who used to donate generously to food banks like the one at the Tilbury Information & HELP Centre (TIHC) now find themselves accessing those supports.

Hunger Count 2023 by Food Banks Canada paints a dark picture – one in six Canadian households struggle to put food on the table. People surveyed for the report said the top reasons they needed to access food bank supports were food costs, housing costs, and low wages or not enough hours of work.

Rose-Anne Mayor, TIHC Manager agrees that use is up, and times are incredibly challenging. 2023 saw an 18.3% uptick in usage at the food bank and more people needing access to wraparound community supports.

As always Tilbury helps Tilbury! The community always responds generously to asks for donations that go a long way to stocking the shelves with much-needed staples.

The TIHC door is always open if you want to stop by with a can of food or a bag of items for the food bank. Make it a classroom project or get your workplace involved. Perhaps your service club can get on board. Multiples of most needed items are always welcome!

Every little bit helps! Here are some tips on how to most effectively support TIHC, or any food bank.

Most-needed items include:

  • Tuna It’s one of the most sought-after items by food banks. Same with items like flaked ham & chicken.
  • Peanut butter: Another top protein pick
  • Beans and lentils:  Beans can be prepared in any number of way
  • Pasta:  Bags and boxes of pasta are a food bank–shelf staple.
  • Pasta sauce: Anything goes when it comes to pasta sauce.
  • Soups: especially hearty meals like chili or stew
  • Bags of apples, potatoes, onions – they keep a long time!
  • Canned vegetables: potatoes, beans, carrots, spinach or peas
  • Canned fruit and individual fruit cups
  • Rice
  • Instant food mixes that only require water: mashed potatoes, pancake & biscuit mixes, instant oatmeal
  • Shelf stable milk and alternatives (rice, soy, etc.)
  • Heat and serve macaroni & cheese
  • Healthy cereal
  • Spices like cinnamon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  • Chips and crackers: graham crackers, animal crackers, peanut butter or cheese crackers
  • Snack items for kids to take to school: juice boxes, applesauce containers, granola bars
  • For infants: formula, infant cereal, diapers, and wipes
  • Toiletries: toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo & conditioner
  • Menstrual hygiene products

DON’TS

  • Expired products
  • Home made items
  • Open items