A part of my job that I love the most is helping others – and since another part of my job is blogging, I love being able to combine the two.
Tomorrow at Third Tuesday I will be holding a food drive for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society on top of providing the live blog of Mhari Petrovic’s talk. To encourage attendees to bring a non-perishable food item to donate, I also have a great collection of prizes to give away. Here’s how it will work:
– When you arrive you’ll have the chance to donate a food item for the Food Bank
– Should you donate an item you will get a ticket for a prize draw (one ticket per item so bring more to donate and have more chances to win).
– CARE by Stella McCartney gift pack
– WordPress t-shirts
– (4) tickets for a Vancouver Giants game of your choice this season
– Seth Godin‘s new book Tribes (donated by Kate)
– A signed copy of Gary Vaynerchuk‘s book (donated by Reachd)
– We will also have a silent auction for the Food Bank – the prize is two tickets for this Saturday’s Canucks game (lower bowl!). Leave your bid on the auction sheet and at the end of the night, the highest bidder/donor walk away with the tickets. Big HUGE thanks go to Kulpreet Singh for donating the tickets.
Update: Raincoaster has submitted the following “Practical suggestions for FoodBank donations” which are entirely fantastic:
While people who rely on the FoodBank come from all backgrounds and thus have many different kinds of cuisines, some things are fundamental. And when you’re that cash-poor, believe me, everything becomes fundamental.
Something to think about before hitting the store: Please buy the quality of food you would buy for yourself. There’s no reason to pick an all-Meinhart’s slate, but if you wouldn’t put Brand Zed in your mouth, it’s not a suitable donation. I have seen stuff donated that would curl the hair of a pathologist. Dude, nobody needs your Unspeakable Brand Butterscotch Pickles.
The more basic the food, the better. That means rice is better than Rice-A-Roni, particularly as the latter needs additional ingredients which often cannot be donated OR afforded. If you want to give a packaged food, always make sure to also donate the additional ingredients it requires: for KD, you’d also have to donate milk (which could be powdered) but that still leaves margarine which you can’t donate and I can tell you from personal experience that people poor enough to go to the FoodBank generally do not have enough money for margarine on a regular basis. So check the instructions and make sure what you’re giving is complete in itself, OR you include everything else necessary to make it. They may not all end up in the same basket, but at least you tried.
Canned beans and vegetables are outstanding. They are nearly immortal, portable, and who can’t use a few cans of tomatoes? Even people with no access to cooking facilities can use canned foods. The nutritional value of these foods is often very high relative to alternatives, and they are an excellent way to get some variety in the diet. Very poor people tend to rely on staple starches and fats, because those are the least expensive forms of nutrition available. Canned fruits, legumes and vegetables are an excellent-value donation because they are so nutrient-dense. As well, canned prepared foods such as stews, sauces, and rich soups are a great relief to the elderly and the ill.
Dried foods are good as long as they’re not terribly exotic: dry lentils are bound to be more useful to a greater number of people than dried tree ear fungus, however tasty it may be. Powdered milk is fantastic, especially as there are so many families going to the FoodBank lately. Powdered soup bases are really useful, especially if you also donate dry noodles that are soup-suitable, like stars, shells, or thin rice noodles.
Snack foods are important and will often take the place of meals when the cupboard is bare. With this in mind, pre-wrapped granola bars probably outrank cookies and other sweets. That’s not to say that sweets and desserts have no place in a donation bag; poverty is a dreary, grinding experience and sometimes literally all it takes to make a difference for someone is a can of chocolate pudding. Pure delight is always a great donation.
Portability, preservability, and nutrient value are the key principles to choosing a FoodBank donation that will make a positive difference in someone’s day, their health, their outlook, and (in some small way) their life. And chocolate doesn’t hurt either.