Monday, December 12, 2016

This Season Buy A Bag Don't Cart A Can

The holiday season is, unfortunately, the time when we start top think most about the hungry, those that need. I say unfortunately because we should think of them all the time. Now understandably its winter, we are in the giving season, we are thinking (guiltily) about our family meals and want to help others. That's great. We just could do it more often, and more importantly, better.

The usual way we donate to food banks is by giving, well, food. But isn't that what we want to do? Give food to the hungry? Well, sure, but there are more cost-effective, efficient, more healthy ways of getting food to them than actually donating 'non-perishable' items at various donation events from your grocery store to a show. What is the best way? Just giving money. You seen when you donate funds, the pantry can buy in bulk to get more food for the same amount, and they can also get what they need, versus what you decide to give them. Here is great summation of what it means for an organization to deal with all those physical donations, and why buying power is greater by the organization than your individual purchases, by the Vancouver Sun.

You could donate directly to an organization like say Hunger Task Force, but another great way is to Buy-A-Bag at Outpost Natural Foods. For $20, Outpost donates $40 worth of natural and organic foods, including fresh produce, to those in need - food planned out directly with Hunger Task Force's participation


"People want to do something tangible though. That's why our Buy a Bag is so popular. We work with Hunger Task Force so when you 'buy a bag' for $20, we are able to fill it with $40 - $50 worth of the packaged and fresh food items they really need. We order in large quantities and cross-dock the shipment directly to their warehouse. So it's not only just what they need but it saves labor as well." Lisa Malmarowski of Outpost Natural Foods said.

It's understandable that people like to give items, if you give a pantry food you know they are using the food, versus donating money where some of it goes to administration, or who knows where.You think that, you just spent $20 on food so they have $20 worth of food. The thing is, it's not. Your $20 could actually be worth double, even triple or more, of your grocery store value when combined with other donations for bulk buying power. Plus it saves resources and time for the organization to have to sort, inventory, and store the random food you and hundreds of others have donated versus getting in a pallet of the few food items they may need.

Of course if you are going to an event anyway and a food donation is part of it, by all means participate. Hopefully the event stresses a few specific items that they know the organization needs (such as peanut butter drives.) But if you want to help on your own, please consider donating the money directly to them or through a program like Outposts, you could exponentially increase your donation level and help even more than you thought.