hygiene montage - © umanitoba.ca

Food Banks Need More Than Just Food Donations

We’ve addressed the need for donations of pet food and related supplies to the Food Bank. But we’ve never communicated to our readers the most common non-food products folks ask for from the Food Bank. The ‘extras’ are really essentials…

Non-Food Donations - © commsatwork.org

Food isn’t the only thing that’s soared in price since before the COVID Crisis. General inflation has pushed up the cost of personal and hygiene items as well. And the growing flood of clients at Food Banks has triggered a sharp increase in demand for essential personal, hygiene and sanitation supplies.

For example, Statistics Canada recently revealed that the cost of a bottle shampoo increased almost $2 between 2019 and this year. An 85 g stick of deodorant also increased by almost $2. And a 4.43 L box of laundry detergent increased by more than $2. It all adds up pretty quickly.

A matter of dignity

The key issue behind the Food Bank providing personal and hygiene products is dignity. But it’s also a matter of health preservation and disease prevention.

Food Bank workers report some particularly needy folks are facing tough choices: between eating or purchasing fundamentals like tampons or deodorant.

“Everything is important, but the extras just kind of bring those extra little bits of joy,” Gander and Area Food Bank volunteer Raelene White told CBC TV. “We love that having these extras and [any] extra little bit of money allows us to provide that [degree of] dignity to our clients.”

What are the ‘extras’?

  • Baby diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Deodorant
  • Facial and body soap
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Tooth brushes
  • Facial tissue
  • Toilet paper
  • Dish Washing soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Household cleaning products

Before you donate, phone or look up your local Food Bank online to see what they need most.

My take

The ‘extras’ are a big issue. And one that has not had a lot of major media exposure.

Please consider donating food, ‘extras’ and/or cash to your local Food Bank this week. The demand has never been higher, and the level of donations has never been lower.

Your donations may be helping your friends or neighbours, but you might never know. And you might be next to seek help feeding your family…

~ Maggie J.