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  • Writer's pictureNancy

Don't waste food

Sis Advice: "Cut up an apple or banana - and save half for another day. Don’t waste food!"

Sis was born in 1918. Food was treasured not squandered. She remembers the trains coming through her little town in Northwestern Ontario during the Great Depression when the men that rode the cars (aka hoboes) would come asking for meals. Her mom would always share the families' food with them because that was what was needed at the time. The men, women and children who rode the rails could be her children or siblings. In Canada in 1932 one in four Canadians was out of work. The prairie drought dried up the western wheatfields and people were desperate. Many people crisscrossed Canada jumping onto trains to look for work and for food. Sis remembered people at the table sitting down with her family - people who were grateful for a small meal and the company of strangers.

She never wasted food. A full apple was too much to eat at once so she'd leave it on the counter to finish the next day. Why use a whole lemon and throw away the peel. There were lots of uses for a peel.

So the next time you go to the grocery store, think about those people - maybe some of your relatives - you rode the rails looking for families willing to share. And when you can't finish something, wrap it up and enjoy it tomorrow. That's what Sis would do.

Photo: Library and Archives Canada

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