5 ways to support your local food bank

Spring is an important time for food banks. While donations typically peak around the winter holiday, they are often lowest during the late spring and summer.

Chris Hatch, CEO of Food Banks Canada, shares his tips for collecting donations so your local food bank can stay stocked for months to come.

Host an event with friends: Board-game nights, house parties and barbecues are amazing ways to collect donations for your local food bank. When you're planning your next social event, why not make food or funds the ticket to entry? You'll help spread awareness of hunger in your community and guests will feel good knowing they're supporting a worthy cause.

Get competitive: Make teams or challenge friends or co-workers to make the biggest donation. Put together a chart to show who is winning. Awarding a prize for the winner is another smart way to get people interested and raise a lot more food or money.

Cram a cruiser: If you don't have time to make your own food drive, donate to your local cram-a-cruiser event. Real Canadian Superstore locations and Independent stores often partner with local emergency services to fill police cars or ambulances with food donations during their spring food drive which runs from March 18 to 31. While you're there, snap some pics for your Instagram account to get more people involved.

Settle a score: Get friends or coworkers to cast votes for a quirky cause using money or non-perishables. Whoever has the most votes gets a pie in the face, shaves their head or wears a costume to work.

Volunteer: Donating your time is another great way to lend your support. Food banks have a range of volunteer opportunities for people of all ages. School and corporate groups are encouraged to help with food sorts, but many food banks also rely on volunteers for creating hampers, answering phones and helping with events. To find a food bank near you, visit www.foodbankscanada.ca/utility-pages/find-a-food-bank.aspx