For many of us when we consider donating food, the first items that come to mind are usually, pasta, canned food, and very high in sugar/starchy snacks. While all these items are very much in need, it is very important to consider individuals with dietary restrictions. Approximately, 13% of individuals in Canada have a food allergy, and about 11% of individuals in Canada have a food intolerance.
Typically, those who have dietary restrictions or choose to eat mostly plant based often have to pay more for alternate versions of that food. For example, in Toronto, Canada, a 4 L bag of 2% milk at Walmart costs $4.69 (pre-tax) where as ~4 L of almond milk at Walmart costs $10.28 (pre-tax). A big price difference for someone who is unable to drink “regular” milk.
The same price difference goes for any alternate products such as cheese, anything plant based, and even purchasing vegetables instead of various other processed foods.
This lifestyle of needing alternate forms of food is growing and it is important to look beyond the scope of our own lives and see how we can help those in need, even if those needs are different than our own.
Additionally, low-income and marginalized individuals often have to resort to eating fast food, because it is cheap and cost effective. This has led to an increase in obesity and malnourishment in communities effected with food insecurity. A healthy lifestyle is a right to all Canadians.
With all these factors in mind, consider donating healthy alternatives next time you try to donate.
Feature Image: Dan Gold, on Unsplash, Creative Commons