Food is an incredibly powerful tool. Almost everyone enjoys a carefully crafted homecooked meal or baked dessert but alongside the pleasure of eating it, food can achieve a lot more too.
There are countless people around the globe who don’t have access to food or who can be supported through food-based activities. Whilst this is a sad reality of the world we live in, the good news is that we do have access to food and in turn, we can use that to help others who are vulnerable or struggling.
With this in mind, here are some popular methods that food can be used to make a difference.
Local Food Banks
To start with we can look at how you can make a difference in your local area. Whilst world hunger and starvation are usually associated with developing countries, the truth is that there are people struggling to eat or feed their families in every country, even your own. Often, through no fault of their own, individuals can find that the cost of living is too high for their wage or they are forced out of work due to unforeseen circumstances. In these situations, young families are particularly at risk and parents can sometimes sacrifice eating themselves to feed their children, spending what little income they receive on keeping a roof over their heads.
Food banks are local non-profits that accept food donations from the public. These donations are then given out to needy individuals and families, becoming essential care packages that allow them to get back on their feet, stay healthy and can change their situation.
The Fairtrade initiative is one of the most successful of its kind and supports fair pay for workers in developing countries. When farmers sell through the Fairtrade system, they are provided with a fair minimum price for their products, as long as they follow the Fairtrade Standards and pay any staff appropriate wages. Through this, the system supports local businesses, their workers, and the overall community as a stronger economy is built and money can be spent on what the area needs most – whether that be a fresh well, school or hospital.
Buying Fairtrade products keeps this initiative alive, so consider it the next time you are out shopping and see the label.
International Charitable Food Donation
It’s important to mention the threat of world hunger and the struggles that many families go through in developing countries. This is particularly true for displaced families, orphans and refugees who are no longer living at home but are travelling from shelter to shelter.
International charities often provide dedicated food packs for these vulnerable individuals. These food packs can contain a variety of products depending on the location and needs of the individuals there, whilst also being motivated as part of a general appeal or focused event. Some religions even have dedicated calendar events that include giving food to needy, and there are charities out there that support the delivery of this food which you can learn more about here.
Whatever your preference, food delivered by charities is one of the best ways to get nutritious meals to those who truly need it most.
Finally, whilst on the topic of charities, it’s worth mentioning that food is a great method of collecting donations for a good cause. Bake-sales, sponsored dinners and fun days all use food as an incentive to raise funds for charitable causes, local initiatives, organisations and buildings. One of the best aspects of this is that you can fundraise for any cause locally, helping whichever people you are most passionate about supporting without incurring a huge expense.
Whilst these aren’t the only ways for food to be used to help people, they are some of the most effective and useful. If you are interested in making a difference through food, be sure to investigate your local food banks, charity programs and fundraising events for opportunities to help out.