The St. George and Area Food Bank has issued a challenge to four well-known citizens as part of Hunger Awareness Week.

Rick Doucet

Liberal MLA Rick Doucet says spending five days living on what people receive at the local food bank has been an 'eye-opening' experience. (CBC)

Liberal MLA Rick Doucet, who represents Charlotte-The Isles, is one of  the politicians who is surviving on about 16 kilograms of food for five days, which is the same amount a single person would receive from the food bank.

Doucet says he wanted to take on the challenge because he knows how important the work of the local food bank is.

"Sometimes we have to ground ourselves and just realize what other people have to go through," Doucet said.

The MLA says he knows there are a lot of people in his riding, and across New Brunswick, who are going to bed hungry.

"My allocation of food was [one-third of a kilogram] of hamburger for the week. No eggs. No milk. So a lot of those things that you're used to reaching for you can't have."

Doucet says he has managed to stretch his hamburger by making spaghetti sauce and hamburger soup but admits it hasn't been easy.

He says food banks are giving out canned goods for the most part which often have high sodium levels.

"The challenge that I can see for people is that there's not the fresh vegetables, there's not the fresh meat selection or other nourishment or protein that you should be able to get your hands on."

Food Depot trying to raise $35 K

The executive director of the Food Depot which serves more than twenty food banks and community kitchens in southeastern New Brunswick, says Hunger Awareness Week is also an important time for fundraising.

food banks

The Food Depot Alimentaire is hoping to raise $35,000 during Hunger Awareness Week in preparation for the summer months, when few donations come in. (CBC)

Chantal Senecal says this is when food banks have to stock up as donations typically drop off during the summer months.

"We get a lot over Christmas and that really will last us through the winter months and this is the time where we start needing that again to get through the rest of the year," Senecal said.

She says the Food Depot has served more than 9,000 people so far this year and the numbers aren't going down. 

"We've really been working hard on getting the community to really pay attention to what's happening in front of our eyes that we often just kind of ignore."

Senecal says she is confident the Food Depot will reach its fundraising goal of $35,000 this week.