A day in the life of a food hamper

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This is the third installment in our ongoing photo essay illustrating the variety in our food hampers.

Do you think of baby items when considering what to donate to food banks?

One of 84 emergency food hampers given out on November 3 2009

November 3 2009 – Family of three

Today a family of three, who is new to our program, received emergency food. The single father shares custody of his one year old daughter and three year old son with his ex-partner. Although he works full-time, he came to us for help for at least enough food for the weekend. From our food list he requested cereal, beans in sauce, rice vegetables, fruit, potatoes, bread, and milk. We also offered diapers, pabulum, and strained baby food for his one year old daughter from this food list.

The cost of baby items can add up quickly for families who have young children. On average, diapers cost anywhere from $80 to $130 a week, and formula can cost approximately $40 each week. These are two items most people do not expect to receive when accessing an emergency food program. However, our program recognizes the high cost and necessity of these items. In order to provide “baby hampers” once per month, our program uses donated funds.  A baby hamper is separate from the six emergency food hampers that families are eligible to receive from our program.

Baby hampers include diapers, pabulum, formula (infants 0 – 12 months), and jar foods (strained or junior). Each item in a baby hamper is given in a predetermined amount. For example, a set of size three diapers would include 18 diapers that will get the family through the next three to five days our emergency service aims to provide.

Donations of any baby items are always appreciated. Typically pabulum and jar foods are items we receive through community donations and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, where as diapers and formula must be purchased and repackaged in smaller quantities to offer consistent availability. Our program purchases the diapers and formula through funding received from monetary community donations, Waterloo Region Social Services, and annual United Way funding. This year approximately $16,000 will be spent so that families like this one can have formula and diapers for their children.

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One Response to “A day in the life of a food hamper”

  1. Volunteer Spotlight: Marge « Hofemergencyfoodassistance's Blog Says:

    […] To read more about the significance of us distributing baby items, click here. […]

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