Here at Food Network Canada, we’ll take any opportunity to break bread with our friends, but the meals taste even better when we’re dining for a good cause!

The Big Social is a national cross-country food party that brings people together and raises funds for low-income communities. Like many other nations, Canada has been deeply affected by the coronavirus crisis. It’s challenging enough to self-isolate in a well-stocked home. But for the many Canadians living on a low income, there is a heightened sense of anxiety. Food insecurity was already an urgent problem, with 1 in 8 Canadians struggling to put food on the table. Now, 1 in 7 people are experiencing food insecurity during the ongoing pandemic.

With The Big Social, you can connect in person or online, making this year’s Distance Edition the perfect way to give back during COVID-19. From October 9-25, raise funds, share food, have fun, show you care!

The best part is that anyone can host, and joining is as easy as 1-2-3. Go to www.bigsocial.ca to register to host. Once you’ve registered, you can set a fundraising goal for your dinner, and send out a (socially-distanced) invite to your friends, family or coworkers to join and support low-income communities through donations!

Your generous donation supports community members to eat well, cook healthy and take action on issues that affect their livelihood.

An example of donation breakdowns:

$30 can give seniors a healthy cooking session
$50 can provide fresh fruit and vegetables for a family
$75 can bring food literacy education to kids
$100 can grow a garden in low-income communities
$175 can help to open a new Community Food Centre

To stay safe and healthy, consider these virtual event themes:

1. Cross-country (or global!) cheers: The beauty of a virtual event is that you can “cheers” your friends across the country — or the world! 

2. PJ party: Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like eating in your PJs. 

3. Beloved family recipes: Everyone can cook from the same recipe, follow a kitchen leader, or prep separately and then share the story behind the dish.

Register to host an event for The Big Social at www.bigsocial.ca.

For more, check out how FoodShare’s Paul Taylor breaks down food insecurity (and how Canadians can help) and how food injustice inspired this 23-year-old to start her own farm.