To launch its Feed the Hope campaign this year, Catelli recently commissioned a new study to uncover Canadians’ thoughts and perceptions of those who use food banks. The research, which aims to shed light on the face of hunger in Canada, found that one-in-five Canadians have used a food bank in their life.
“Many Canadians think they know the kind of person who uses a food bank,” says Claire Labrom, Brand Manager, Catelli® pasta. “The harsh reality, however, is that hunger doesn’t discriminate and affects people you’d least expect – your neighbours, colleagues, classmates, and friends.”
Shockingly, more than four-in-ten Canadians don’t believe there is a food crisis in Canada, yet, nearly 20 per cent know someone who uses a food bank regularly. In fact, over 850,000 people across the country turn to food banks for help each month; and more than one-third are children and youth.1
The Catelli Feed the Hope study also found that there are many misperceptions surrounding food bank usage in Canada:
- The Food Crisis is Real in Canada: One-in-three Canadians would turn to a food bank if they experienced sudden money problems (33%) or a lost job (30%).
- A Hungry Generation? Millennials (age 18-34) are significantly more likely to turn to a food bank after experiencing sudden money problems or a lost job.
- Reasons to use a Food Bank: One-third (34%) of Canadians believe poor money management is the top reason people use a food bank, while one-in-five (21%) Canadians believe the top reason people use a food bank is because they are taking advantage of “the system”.
Examining perceptions of child hunger:
A parent’s top priority is the wellbeing of their children – and providing them with a good, balanced diet to set them up for a happy, healthy life. Unfortunately, not all parents in Canada can afford this lifestyle and sometimes, sending their kids to school with little to no lunch, or an empty stomach is a reality that many face. No parent wants to send their child to school without healthy fuel for their day; yet, one-in-four (26%) Canadians perceive seeing a child with an empty lunch box as a sign of bad parenting.
Other regional stats from the poll showed that one-third (33%) of Manitobans/Saskatchewanians believe a parent who does not provide their child(ren) with lunch at school is a lazy parent; one-in-four (25%) Ontarians believe a parent who does not provide their child(ren) lunch at school is a bad parent; and one-third (34%) of Atlantic Canadians believe a parent who does not provide their child(ren) lunch at school is a parent not invested in their child(ren).
No matter the situation, kids can’t eat apologies – simply ignoring the hunger that exists in Canada won’t make it go away. This is why Catelli is challenging Canadians to fight against food insecurity through the Feed the Hope program. For every box of Catelli pasta purchased, a serving of pasta will be donated to local food banks across Canada between April and May, with a goal of donating 1 million portions. Canadians are encouraged to support the cause however they can – whether it’s by donating time or food to their local food bank, buying a box of Catelli pasta or simply by learning more about the food insecurity issue that exists in Canada.
“Hunger in Canada is far more prevalent than many of us think,” says Sarah Watson, Director of Community Engagement at North York Harvest Food Bank. “Food banks across the country are working hard to make sure that families can keep food on the table, even when times get tough. Catelli’s generous donation will make sure we can provide healthy, wholesome food to those who need it most.”
On April 30, Catelli will be hosting a dinner at the North York Harvest Food Bank in Toronto, inviting volunteers and clients of the food bank to enjoy a delicious meal, led by Julie Miguel. In addition, the following food banks are also involved in this year’s initiatives, each receiving a large donation of pasta from Catelli: Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Edmonton’s Food Bank, Regina & District Food Bank Inc., Calgary Food Bank, Saskatoon Food Bank & Resource Centre, Winnipeg Harvest, Hamilton Food Share, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, Ottawa Food Bank, Project Share, London and Area Food Bank, FEED Nova Scotia, Greener Village Community Centre, and Les Banques Alimentaires du Québec.
Canadians across the country can find out more about how they can help make a difference by visiting www.feedthehope.ca and following #Feedthehope on social.