Food bank challenge recruits 20 participants

This week 20 well-known people and their families took on a challenge to only eat food provided from a local Moncton food bank for three days.

This week 20 well-known people and their families took on a challenge to only eat food provided from a local Moncton food bank for three days.

They picked up hampers from the food bank and were asked to record their daily experiences.

"We're really lucky to get, like, good food all the time," said 14-year-old Caroline Korytko, who said she appreciates her family’s full kitchen cupboards a lot more.

She and her family got boxed cookies and lots of crackers in their box from the food bank, but no fresh products such as milk, cheese or fruit.

Alexia Korytko, 12, said making lunches for school this week was more challenging than she expected.

"Yesterday I opened my lunchbox and I saw there was no juice in it, so I was kind of like ‘Oh, I'm not going to have anything to drink and here are my friends with nice lunches with fruit in it and I'm having my little Oreo cookies with Alphaghetti,’" Alexia said.

The participants were not allowed to accept free food from others, but were encouraged to visit a soup kitchen at least once.

Zane Korytko, the chief executive officer at the Moncton YMCA,  found himself without as much energy as he normally has.

He said he was thinking about food a lot more than usual and what food banks really need.

"We realize more as a family and I've been telling the staff and members the thing that we really need is things like cheese and milk and protein," he said.

The Experience Hunger Project was sponsored by New Brunswick's Common Front for Social Justice.

The group said that as of April 2011, there were 25,000 households, representing 41,197 people that depended on social assistance.

The objectives of the project were to increase public empathy towards people struggling to survive on social assistance, make the public aware that reducing poverty requires government involvement and to create enough public support to get that government assistance.