Media challenge shows how fragile food security is for many in Wood Buffalo

When I first started the Wood Buffalo Food Bank hamper challenge, I thought sticking to a strict list of food items over two weeks wouldn’t be a problem.

The challenge asked local media members to live off a diet of mostly non-perishable food items, detailed in a list provided by the food bank, for two weeks.

This meant lots of canned soup, Kraft dinner, granola bars and pasta. A smaller, more specific list of perishable foods included one litre of milk, a single cucumber, one package of chicken, a stick of butter, two pounds of carrots, eight apples and two loaves of bread.

The purpose is meant to offer a glimpse of what it is like to rely on the food bank, a reality for hundreds of people in Wood Buffalo every month.

After a few days with no salt, no cheese and a severe lack of proper meal planning, the task became more challenging than I thought.

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