Gaining popularity across Canada is a new way of ensuring that people have access to the food they need: gift cards.
A movement that began in Woodstock, Ontario is now being explored by many communities (including some right here in Central Alberta!), wherein clients are given gift cards to spend on non-taxable items rather than receiving a box of food from the food bank.
People who use this program have reported feeling less stigmatized, expressing that shopping in the same grocery stores as everyone else offers a sense of personal dignity, as well the opportunity to make healthier choices and choose food more aligned with their preferences.
The St. Andrew’s Food Bank in New Brunswick is now taking up the mission to do the same thing.