Saskatoon Meals Financial institution kicks off Starvation Consciousness Week with a bang

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With a $10,000 cheque from the Health Science Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) already in hand, it’s been a good start to the nationwide Hunger Awareness Week at Saskatoon’s food bank.

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“Of course $10,000 means a lot to us at any point in the year, but during this month in particular we will see our numbers go up a little bit. People are struggling with back to school supplies and those kinds of things, so their budgets will be tighter,” explained Laurie O’Connor, executive director of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

Even after that first major donation, there is still more work to be done to help feed the approximately 22,000 Saskatoon residents who rely on the food bank for healthy food each month.

“I’m asking the public to accept the Hunger Awareness Week challenge and help us raise 25,000 pounds of food by the end of this month,” O’Connor added.

The best types of donations to help meet this goal include anything packed with nutrition, such as hearty soups, canned protein, pasta and sauce and whole grain cereals.

It’s easier than ever to donate. The food bank currently takes cash donations on its website as well as over the phone. If you’re out grocery shopping and feel inspired to help, you can also donate food items by popping them in the donation bins before you leave the store.

During Hunger Awareness Week, from Sept. 18-22, Saskatonians are also invited to tour the food bank’s facilities on Avenue C South to learn more about how the system works and who it helps — just make sure to give them a call first to set up a time. O’Connor said there will also be opportunities to volunteer.

Karen Wasylenko, president of the HSAS, said the association’s donation is one way to help fight a problem that’s well known to health care workers across the spectrum.

“If you don’t have access to good, nutritious food, all kinds of problems can happen, whether it leads to diabetes, it could lead to a slower rate in development and growth. When you have children that are hungry, they will struggle in school, so all these things are preventable.”

Wasylenko said she hopes the HSAS donation inspires other organizations to step up to the challenge and make donations of their own.

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