The number of people using food banks in the country continues to rise.
In March of 2022, there were 1.5 million visits to food banks across Canada, the highest usage on record. This was a 15 per cent increase from the year prior and a 35 per cent increase from March 2019.
The Dauphin & District Food Bank has remained extremely busy ahead of the Christmas season. On Wednesday, they will give out 238 hampers to families who applied for help and they will also host an intake on Thursday from 5 to 7 at Parkland Crossing. Data has shown that 5.8 million Canadians lived in food-insecure households in 2021. An item that food banks are always in search of is dairy products and that’s where the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) has come in.
Partnering with food banks in Manitoba for the past 30 years, the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba have donated 333,000 liters of milk to food banks across the province. David Wiens with DFM says he understands the struggle that so many Manitobans are going through right now when it comes to food security.
“There are people out there that simply don’t have enough income to fully support their families when it comes to nutritional needs,” said Wiens. “This program continues to be a very important part of what we’re doing in terms of making dairy products available to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to purchase it.”
The dairy industry continues to be one of the leading industries in the province and that will never change. There are 242 dairy farms in Manitoba and 414.4 million liters of milk were produced in the 2021-22 dairy year. There are also 11 dairy processing plants and 6,269 jobs are created by the dairy industry in Manitoba. When you are purchasing your next jug of milk, look for the Blue Cow logo to guarantee that the dairy product is made from 100% Canadian milk. In turn, you will also be supporting dairy farmers.
“We continue to grow and our production of milk reflects the demand for dairy products,” Wiens ended. “We continue to be a very important part of everyone’s healthy lifestyle and that will never change. We are here and we will remain here.”
Contributed by Darnell Duff