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“Our vegetable garden is a sizable 45 feet by 65 feet. When I tell people this they often ask me why I plant such a large garden. The reasons are as plentiful as my crops.”

10 Un-cool things about hunger in Canada

1. In a country as wealthy as Canada 841,191 people need food banks just to make ends meet each month.

2. 14 million visits were made to Canadian food banks last year. That is 15 times the population of Nova Scotia.

3. Each month, 90,000 Canadians are forced to ask for help from a food bank for the first time.

4. 62 per cent of households who rely on food banks earn the major- ity of their income from employ- ment. Extremely low levels of income force them to turn to food banks as they are unable to afford even adequate housing, nutrition, transportation and communica- tion.

Taeven proudly bagging a vegetable order.

Here are a few ideas for sharing: Take part in a grow-a-row program: These

programs Cousins and grandparents collecting our veggies. encour-

age gardeners to grow-a-row for those in need in their community. A quick Google search should uncover one in your area. For great sharing informa- tion check out this grow-a-row junior website

pargar_jr.htm Fruit share programs: Too many

apples, plums or other fruit? Look for a fruit share program in your area. Volunteers will come out, pick your entire tree, leaving you with some and taking the rest for volunteers and chari- ties to use. Senior's residences, daycares and

schools: Why not send a basket of cherry tomatoes, a crate of apples or apple muffins to your child’s school or a local senior’s home, just because? Healthy snacks are always welcome for the children, and seniors who used to garden will truly enjoy fresh produce. If you plant flowers why not bring a fresh bunch or two for the cafeteria as well? Local zoo: Many zoos will take

produce for the animals. They generally prefer stock that will keep, such as root

vegetables and squashes. You can check to see if they still take apples, some zoos have stopped due to the overzeal- ous donations they were receiving. Soup kitchens: Most local soup

kitchens will always appreciate any type of fresh donation. Local barn: Too many apples or

have several dropped from your tree? Why not see if a local barn is interested in some horse treats. Only donate fruit that is bug/disease free and just bring enough to last a day or two if the fruit has been bruised. Make a thoughtful gift: Bake apple

or pumpkin pies and drop one off to all your friends and neighbours for the holidays. Make pickles, salsa, relish or jams for everyone, or store them for teacher’s gifts. Donate to a fall supper: Many

community or church organized dinners rely on the kindness of volun- teer and food donations. Donate some apple pies or vegetables for the meal. You don’t need a large garden to

teach children how care about the world around them. When you encour- age them to think of ways to share, their ideas may just surprise you. K

5. On average 310, 461 children are helped each month through Canadian food banks. That is the equivalent of 6,700 full school buses.

6. Nearly half of households helped are families with children, and close to half of these are two- parent families.

7. 47 per cent of children in north- ern Canada do not know where their next meal is coming from.

8. 38 per cent of food distributed by food banks is perishable - milk, eggs, bread and fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables.

9. The number of people receiv- ing food assistance in Canada has not dropped below 700,000 per month for the better part of the past 15 years.

10. 4,308,140 meals and snacks were served in 2014 by soup kitchens, shelters, school breakfast initiatives and other programs.

Information from HungerCount

2014, a national study released by Food Banks Canada. Visit foodbanks- for more information.

Beautiful Gardens 2015 • 35

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