a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
DIY Projects

Giving Back

“There are children starving in Africa” – isn’t that what our parents used to say to us when we didn’t finish everything on our plates?  I always wanted to say “Then send it to them!”.

But what I didn’t realize is that while there are children starving in Africa, there are also children starving right here too, in Canada.

There is a serious problem with food insecurity in Canada’s North right now, and it’s due in large part to the price of food.  The government subsidizes the cost of many foods, but it’s not enough.

Families making little to begin with are stretched beyond their limits when faced with the cost of essentials: $10.39 for 4 litres of milk, $19.99 for a brick of cheese, $13.29 for a package of spaghetti, $11.19 for a jar of peanut butter.

Helping Our Northern Neighbours is a Facebook group started by Jennifer Gwilliam – one woman with a huge heart to see families fed.  She’s working to match families in need with individuals or groups who are willing to help them.

And how do they help?  By sending food.

That’s it.  Super simple.  At least 4 times a year, they send food to the families that need it.

I’ve been looking for a way to give back, to serve and bless others right here in Canada.

And I’d love to have you join me in doing just that.

Welcome To The Zoo will be matched with a family, and my hope is that we’ll be sending one box filled with pantry items and consumables each month.

In my town, the cost of food is very affordable, and I’m able to get some great deals.  The income I receive from the ads that you see right here on Welcome To The Zoo will go to buying the food.

Here’s a look at our first shipment, ready and waiting to be sent:


I made sure to get a number of the items listed on the Helping Our Northern Neighbours Facebook page: flour, sugar, cereal, macaroni, pasta, tuna, soup, rice, tea, coffee, jam, raisins, and craisins.  I also added in a few other items that I thought might be helpful.

I made sure that most of the mixes I included only required water (no eggs for the muffins, for example).  That means that ingredients like eggs or milk can be used for other meals.

IMG_20150127_101059156The cost of shipping is where I’ll need your help.  Costs can run around $100-$150.  Would you consider partnering with me to offset those costs?

Any amount would be a huge help!

Together, we can feed one hungry family.  And that’s one more than none.

Donations can be made by credit card through Paypal by clicking below.

Cash donations can be made via email transfer to megan@welcometothezoo.ca.


If you’re not in a position to donate financially, would you please share this post?  Just click one of the sharing buttons to share on social media or by email.  The more people that hear about this issue, the better!

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    We donate to our local food pantry often. I think it’s important for my kids to see that helping others is important.

  2. Mystic_Kitchen

    What a great cause- thanks for sharing!

  3. crysta911

    I love that. We all have things that just sit in our pantry that could be donated.

  4. Christine

    I had no clue items were so expensive in Canada! I bought a box of spaghetti noodles here in Pittsburgh, PA, the other day for $1! I do know that from watching HGTV that the prices of homes there are OUTRAGEOUS so I guess it just all comes together that food would be too. I hope your campaign takes on great speed and that you are able to help the family.

    • Megan Elford

      Here in Southern Ontario (and in most of Southern Canada and in the major centers), we’d pay about $1 for spaghetti too. But with the communities in the north, transporting food often includes an airplane flight (or several). Often there are no roads to these areas and the only way in is by air, which makes things so much more expensive!

  5. Everything Mom and Baby

    I’m a part of the FB group as well. I can’t believe our government is not doing anything. A head of lettuce is a ridiculous price. Shipping to the North should not cost this much. Something needs to be done!

    • Megan Elford

      I agree! The subsidies fall way too short. There must be a long term solution, but in the meantime, hopefully we can help at least a few people.

  6. joanncrohn

    What an awesome project!! I had no idea how expensive food was in Canada!

    • Megan Elford

      In the areas with the highest populations, food is very affordable and it’s (relatively) easy to build a budget around. It’s the northern communities that are isolated and that require extremely high shipping costs that have the exorbitant prices. People can be making a good solid wage, and still not have enough to feed their families.

  7. Sojourner Walker Williams

    What a worthwhile cause. Best of luck in your efforts!

  8. Kim Uliana

    What a great cause. I am involved in many charities. As our daughter grows, I hope she will be active as well. Good for you for offering a helping hand to those in need.

  9. Chelley @ A is For Adelaide

    That’s so awesome of you! I never thought about water only for prepping so milk and eggs can go towards other meals! I will think about this with our next donations!

  10. Carly Anderson (@lipglosscrayons)

    What an amazing cause! Love this!

  11. Rosey

    What a great thing to do!! The pantry in the next city over from us is always so busy! We donate because it is… there is def. a need.

  12. Yona Williams

    Oh wow, those prices are crazy. Over the past couple of years, I have seen a lot of ads and written material regarding widespread hunger. I really had no idea how bad it is everywhere, including the U.S.

  13. maggiesblog2

    Those prices are insane! We donate a couple of boxes a food to our pantry or church monthly!

  14. Dhemz

    what an awesome deed! There are plenty of people starving in Asia too…well, even here in America and other parts of the world.

  15. Liz Mays

    That was really smart to make sure the mixes just needed water to make them. This is a wonderful thing to do!

  16. Debi

    What a worth wild cause. It is so important to help our neighbors. I am glad you thought about the mixes with water.

  17. Eliz Frank

    How interesting! The news in my area was showing a similar situation and need here. Feeding the hungry is an important cause. Food is life sustaining.

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