Summer is over (maybe? It’s supposed to feel like 36˚C tomorrow here in Toronto…) and the initial excitement of the back to school rush has calmed down. It feels very much like “business is usual” as the memories of summer fade and we fall back into our regular routines.
Is one of those routines sitting down for a family meal and eating together? There are so many benefits of eating together yet it’s something that many of us (me included sometimes) don’t make time for anymore. But it’s not just family dinners that are falling by the wayside. People in general aren’t entertaining in their homes as much… “No time”, “I can’t cook” “Too much work” are excuses I often hear from people who say they never entertain at home anymore. That’s too bad because really, entertaining is so much more about the guests than the food!
Do you want to be a part of a new movement encouraging more people to eat together? And do some good at the same time? Did you know that more than 4 million Canadians struggle to afford food? It affects everything: their physical health, their mental health, and their sense of belonging.
This fall, Community Food Centres Canada is encouraging us all to enjoy a meal together… to help those people who are struggling when it comes to putting good food on the table for their families.
Introducing The Big Social
The Big Social is a cross-Canada food gathering taking place this November. These are events – big and small – that can take place right in your own home (or workplace, or anywhere you can bring people together over a meal!). It’s about bringing Canadians together to share meals and raise money to give low-income Canadians access to healthy food and programs that change lives through programs offered by Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) and local Community Food Centres across Canada.
CFCC is hoping to get 1,000 Big Social fundraising events happening in homes and workplaces across the country between November 1 and 10 to raise $100,000 to increase access to healthy food and the programs that change lives.
“Say what?” I hear you ask… “I have to host people in my house?” Yes. Or workplace. Or anywhere you can get people together to enjoy a meal together. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal (more ideas coming soon – scroll down!)!
Want to know where your fundraising money will go?
What impact can my event have?
Money raised through The Big Social gives Canadians living on low incomes access to healthy food and programs that change lives.
- $20 can give one person a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables
- $100 can help grow enough vegetables for 100 families
- $500 can provide healthy meals for 60 people for a week
- $1,000 can support a series of cooking sessions where people learn new food skills, become more confident in the kitchen, and make new friends
- $5,000 can fund an after-school program that engages kids ages 8 to 12 in gardening, cooking, and learning about the food system
The Big Social gives you a chance to bring your friends and family together to share food and do good at the same time by raising money to support healthy food programs in low-income neighbourhoods. 75% of the money you raise will be used to directly fund programs in our community. The remaining 25% of funds will support Community Food Centres Canada to innovate and fund new programs and power a good food movement across Canada.
How can you be a part of The Big Social?
Taking part is easy!
- Go to bigsocial.ca to register to host a meal in your home or workplace between November 1 and 10th 2019. You could host a potluck, throw a dinner party, enlist your supper club or office lunch club, or enjoy a family dinner with a higher cause. Even family pizza night can count!
- Set a fundraising goal for your meal.
- Invite your guests to attend, and ask them to make a donation to Community Food Centres Canada instead of bringing a gift.
- Entertain some good!
Need some help? Every host who registers will get a toolkit with theme ideas, hosting tips from the pros, recipes, and lots more! You’ll also receive emails throughout the campaign with more inspiration and tips.
Lacking space/ time to host a Big Social event?
If space is your challenge, consider whether you have a friend or colleague you could join forces with to host. You could have your Big Social in community centre or school, in your condo party room, even in a park if the weather’s nice! If time is your challenge, you can still contribute by making a direct donation online.
What are you waiting for?
Need more ideas and tips to host a Big Social event?
Stay tuned to my Facebook page through October as I share a new tip for entertaining/ hosting a Big Social event each Monday!
Now, go on – get your thinking cap on and see what YOU can come up with!