Feed Nova Scotia tackling hunger at Touchdown Atlantic game in Halifax

By Steve Gow

Before the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Argonauts storm the field in Halifax on Saturday, football fans will get the opportunity to score a touchdown of their own.

As part of the CFL’s Touchdown Atlantic match-up being hosted at St. Mary’s University’s Huskies Stadium, Feed Nova Scotia has teamed up with courier company Purolator for the Tackle Hunger Food Drive.

Created back in 2003, the Purolator Tackle Hunger program aims to alleviate food insecurity in communities by working with partners and Canadian food banks to collect donations and raise awareness.

This year, they have partnered with Feed Nova Scotia to collect donations at Saturday’s upcoming CFL Touchdown Atlantic game.

“They have invited Feed Nova Scotia to come along (so) watch for those blue Feed Nova Scotia shirts next to the Purolator booth set up,” says Karen Theriault, Feed Nova Scotia’s director of communications.

“People will be able to donate cash through our donation jugs but we’ll also have a tip tap pay machine so that with a quick tap of your card, you can donate two, five or ten dollars to support the cause.”

As much as Theriault is excited to see how many monetary donations can be reigned in during the sold out event, she is just as pumped to spread awareness about food insecurity in the province.

“We know that people aren’t food insecure because they don’t have enough food,” explains Theriault, adding that more complicated issues like inadequate income, the rising cost of living and lack of affordable housing also impact food insecurity.

“So when we have the chance to connect with people at an events, we talk about the importance of having people use their voice to be champions for change and push our elected officials (and) I think that’s why we get so excited about a campaign like this.”

Theriault says she is looking forward to the event and helping spread the word.

After all, with food inflation and skyrocketing prices straining many people’s pocketbooks, food insecurity has been a hot topic in Nova Scotia.

According to recent figures released by Statistics Canada, the number of people living with food insecurity in the province jumped from 17 per cent in 2021 to 22 per cent in 2022.

Feed Nova Scotia says these numbers are likely even higher this year, as food bank usage was up 27 per cent in the first two months alone when compared to last year’s statistics.

Luckily, so too are the number of donations – although the 14-year employee says Feed Nova Scotia can always use more.

“It’s been an absolutely incredible journey and the rewards of working a community that cares is huge and I never take that for granted,” continues Theriault. “The generosity and kindness that I see in people everyday.”

For more information on Purolator’s Tackle Hunger program, visit the website.

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