Scare Hunger Away This Halloween!

WE Scare Hunger Food Drive

Halloween’s a time of the year that so many kids look forward to. From the lead-up to the big day, picking out a costume, planning the trick-or-treat route and decorating the house, October 31st is a high holiday in households around the country.

Now, think about a child who, instead of waiting in excited anticipation for the upcoming candy-fest of the big day, is instead worrying about the very real spectre hunger today, tomorrow and weeks to come.

While so many of us live in countries that are flush with excess, it’s ironic and unacceptable that in our communities, hunger exists, hiding in plain sight. The excitement of Halloween festivities cannot be experienced when a child is hungry, here and now. While candies and treats are great, the sustenance and need of nutritious food items cannot be ignored. Healthy kids who will grow up to be healthy adults need a daily complement of vitamins and nutrients only found in a balanced meal that includes grains, fibres, proteins and more.

Some recent facts indicate these alarming statistics about hunger:

In Canada:

• More than 850,000 people accessed a food bank in March 2016.

• More than 40 percent of households receiving food are families with children.

• Nearly one in six households who accessed a food bank in 2016 were a working family.

• Thirteen percent of people helped by food banks in 2016 were immigrants and refugees.

In the United States:

• Nearly 16 million households face hunger.

• More than 70 billion pounds of food from manufacturers, growers and retailers goes to waste— more than enough food to feed the 42 million people struggling with hunger in the U.S.

• Youth who face food insecurity are more likely to require hospitalization.

• Food insecurity can lead to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease.

This Halloween season, why not get the family involved in a drive to end hunger in your community? WE Scare Hunger is an initiative supported by WE, with a goal of raising awareness of the root causes of hunger and decreasing hunger through food bank donations in your local community.

How to Scare Hunger Away This Halloween

The WE Scare Hunger drive suggests the following three ideas for families who want to get involved:

1) Reverse Trick-or-Treat – Contact friends and neighbours with an email or via social media. Ask them to bring a non-perishable food item to your house when they come to collect candy or ask them to simply leave donations on your front porch when it’s convenient.

2) Host a Halloween House Party – Ask guests to arrive with canned food as their admission ticket. Get the kids involved with giving while enjoying the festivities of the season.

3) Collect Canned Goods Instead of Candy. Again, let neighbours know in advance that you will be coming by for food donations, which you’ll be delivering to a local food bank or other collection depot (supermarket, fire station).

Any of these can take place on Halloween night, or beforehand – pick a day and time that’s convenient for you!

For more information about the We Scare Hunger campaign, as well as printable thank-you notes (to give out to people who donate) and some other fun stuff, is here: We Scare Hunger resources

We can all do our part to help end hunger in our communities. Please follow the hashtag #WEfamilies and share these ideas so that this year’s Halloween is bountiful for all kids and families in more ways than one.

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