(Pictured: Pasta sauce purchased in bulk for the emergency food network for Summer 2019)
Every summer, Hamilton Food Share makes large bulk purchases of priority items for the emergency food network. Over the summer months, we see donations to food banks decrease while demand goes up because children are home from school and not accessing student nutrition programs and at the same time, community food drives are not as frequent due to summer vacations.
Over the last 14 years, The City of Hamilton has been Hamilton Food Share’s partner in mitigating the summer food shortfalls anticipated in the emergency food system. A grant from the City enables us to purchase priority items that food banks are always in need of, that help to ensure that the standard set out in the Canada Food Guide is being met for families accessing food banks throughout the summer months.
For the past 5 years, Hamilton Food Share has offered the same service we provide every day of the year to all our member agencies: taking funds, investing them in deeply discounted bulk buys, and stretching those dollars to have a far greater impact than just the dollars on their own. Last year, agencies who participated in our summer bulk buy program saw a 40% increase in the amount of food they could buy. Every dollar saved went right back into buying more food. We have offered this opportunity again this year, with 6 of our member agencies participating, including Good Shepherd, Mission Services, Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, St. Matthew’s House, Welcome Inn and Wesley Urban Ministries.