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How to Make Your Food Bank drive Better: add upstreaM action

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BC
Poverty
Reduction
coalition
How to Make Your Food Bank Drive Better:
Add Upstream Action
We are very generous. We give to food banks, donate to charities, volunteer at soup kitchens
and collect clothing for families in need. In fact, BC is one of the most generous provinces in Canada in
terms of how much we give to charity. We give our time and money because we care about those less
fortunate than ourselves.
And yet, BC has had the highest poverty rate in Canada for the last 13 years.
That’s 476,000 British Columbians living in poverty and 93,000 of those are children.
Food banks are necessary to address the immediate needs of people living with hunger and
malnutrition. However, they can only provide short-term relief that addresses the downstream
symptoms and we need long-term solutions that go upstream to fix the root causes.
Can of soup
(Short-term relief)
Poverty Reduction Plan
(Long-term solution)
Most other places in Canada have a poverty reduction plan and they are already saving lives and
money. BC needs a comprehensive poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines to
really make a difference for families, communities and our province.
Poverty is a heavy issue and we need everyone to share the weight.
Giving to charity is the community stepping up and now we need to
ask government to share the weight with us.
It’s not fair for communities to bear
the burden of povery on their own!
We are teaching our students to be charitable givers, and fostering social responsibility and social
service; let’s also teach them to be democratic citizens and think about social justice by engaging with
their government representatives.
Support for this project does not necessarily
imply sponsor’s endorsement of the content.
Prepared by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
Page 1 of 5
How to Make Your Food Bank Drive Better
Share the Weight With Us
This holiday season, as well as holding a food bank drive, please get your students involved in the
Share the Weight initiative.
Aim: To have students think about long-term solutions to poverty and their role as democratic
citizens, and provide them with an opportunity to engage in a meaningful democratic exercise.
“Help students realize that they have a voice, that they need to raise their voices and that they
can take action and effect change locally and provincially”
1. Introduce some information on poverty in BC to students at a level they will understand.
2. Help older students construct and decorate a large cardboard can from old
cardboard boxes and place it at the front entrance. To make it effective, ideas for
decoration include:
• Using the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition poster to wrap-around the can.
• Including information in large text or images on the can lid.
• Making a banner or sign to go with it.
3. Have students draw or write on the Share the Weight can template provided (p. 3),
and cut and glue the pieces into paper cans.
4. Fill the big can with the paper cans from all the students in the school.
5. Arrange a meeting with your local MLA: have your students present the big can to them and ask the
government to share the weight with us.
• Prepare some students to talk about some of their concerns about children living in poverty and
going hungry, and why they think we need a poverty reduction plan for BC.
Also acknowledge contributions to the food bank by giving students the thank you card provided to take
home. Print pages 4 & 5 double-sided, and explain to students that their parents can cut & send the postcard.
Additional Resources and Ideas:
• “The Three S’s: social responsibility, social service, and social justice”
(BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Fall 2008, p. 10-11)
http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/SocialJustice/Publications/SJ-Newsletter/Fall2008.pdf
• Upstream video: talk about how giving to food banks is equivalent to “jumping in the river” and ask
students to think upstream about the causes of poverty. http://www.thinkupstream.net
• BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s resources, including:
• “5 things you should know about poverty in BC” infographic
http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2013_prc_5-things-to-know.pdf
• A Poverty Reduction Plan for Healthy People and Healthy Communities fact sheet
http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/BCPovertyReductionCoalition-factsheet.pdf
• Justice Not Charity lesson plan
http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/JusticeNotCharityLessonPlan.pdf
• Describe the government as the group that makes the big rules or “policies” that could really help
families and children in poverty, and ask the students what rules they would add or change?
Prepared by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
Page 2 of 5
Share the Weight: Message in a Can
Poverty is a heavy issue and we need
everyone to share the weight. Giving
to food banks is the community
stepping up and now we are asking the
government to share the weight with us.
Draw or write a message on the can to
your government about your concerns
with children living in poverty and
going hungry, and why you think we
need a poverty reduction plan for BC.
JUSTICE: THE GIFT
THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Then cut out the shapes, glue or tape
them to make a can and put it in the big
can your teacher has provided.
We need a Poverty Reduction Plan
for BC because...
JUSTICE: THE GIFT
THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Prepared by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
Page 3 of 5
Support for this project does not necessarily
imply sponsor’s endorsement of the content.
and...
bcpovertyreduction.ca
Justice: The gift that keeps on giving
Thank you
Thank you
and...
Justice: The gift that keeps on giving
bcpovertyreduction.ca
Support for this project does not necessarily
imply sponsor’s endorsement of the content.
...now make an even
bigger difference
by asking for longterm solutions to
hunger and poverty
in British Columbia
пЂЈ
Premier Christy Clark
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
пЂЈ
$0.63
postage
Premier Christy Clark
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
...now make an even
bigger difference
by asking for longterm solutions to
hunger and poverty
in British Columbia
Dear Premier Christy Clark,
I give to the Food Bank because I care about people going
hungry in my community. This is necessary in a province with
almost 500,000 people living in poverty.
However, BC has had the highest poverty rate in Canada for
the last 13 years so I now realize that we also need long-term
solutions to the crisis we are facing.
i urge you to share the weight of poverty and commit to
a bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan aimed
at reducing poverty and homelessness in our province.
We all pay for poverty through long-term costs in health care,
criminal justice and social services, and we are now one of the
last places in Canada without a poverty reduction strategy. Other
places are saving lives and money by addressing the issues of
poverty directly. it’s time Bc did too.
Let’s stop mopping up the water on the floor and fix the hole
in the roof.
Sincerely, __________________________________________
$0.63
postage
Dear Premier Christy Clark,
I give to the Food Bank because I care about people going
hungry in my community. This is necessary in a province with
almost 500,000 people living in poverty.
However, BC has had the highest poverty rate in Canada for
the last 13 years so I now realize that we also need long-term
solutions to the crisis we are facing.
i urge you to share the weight of poverty and commit to
a bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan aimed
at reducing poverty and homelessness in our province.
We all pay for poverty through long-term costs in health care,
criminal justice and social services, and we are now one of the
last places in Canada without a poverty reduction strategy. Other
places are saving lives and money by addressing the issues of
poverty directly. it’s time Bc did too.
Let’s stop mopping up the water on the floor and fix the hole
in the roof.
Sincerely, __________________________________________
Address and postal code
_____________________________________________________
Name
____________________________________________________
Name
____________________________________________________
Address and postal code
_____________________________________________________
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