Ottawa Food Bank and IBM Participate in Centennial Day of Service Volunteer Event

100 volunteers kick off Community Harvest Ontario and professional services project; Food Bank receives IBM service grant of $10,000

OTTAWA, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ottawa Food Bank today announced that it is partnering with local IBM (NYSE: IBM) employees as part of IBM's Celebration of Service, a program designed for employees, retirees and business partners, to donate their time and expertise during the company's Centennial year. Hundreds of thousands of IBMers around the world are volunteering in their local communities, helping with civic challenges and societal needs.

The Ottawa Food Bank helps feed more than 43,000 people in Ottawa every month. More than 37 percent of these people are children. Regular access to healthy food can help stave off difficulty in learning, anxiety, cognitive impairments, bleeding gums, tooth decay, stunted growth, fragile bones and associated malnutrition disorders for both children and adults.

To assist the Food Bank in helping Ottawa's most vulnerable, a team of 100 IBM volunteers are delivering a variety of hands-on and professional activities throughout 2011 to help the Food Bank maintain its focus on feeding hungry families.

The local team's activities include:

  • Community Harvest Ontario: Most project volunteers will participate directly at the Roots and Shoots Farm just outside of Ottawa where they will roll up their sleeves to help with planting, weeding and harvesting to help the farm fulfill its quest of providing 20,000 pounds of fresh food for the Food Bank this year.
  • Professional Services: A team of IBMers (including our Extreme Blue project teams) are also assessing the Food Bank's systems for recruiting, tracking and assigning volunteers, to allow the nonprofit to more quickly mobilize volunteers for future projects and other activities.

As part of its centennial celebration, IBM is delivering hundreds of new service grants, valued at more than $12 million, which support employee-driven volunteer activities. The service grants include cash and equipment awards. These new technology and cash grants expand IBM's commitment to communities by 140 percent over the last year. The Ottawa Food Bank is one of three Canadian recipients, and amongst a prestigious group of 100 worldwide, who will receive a $10,000 service grant from IBM.

"The Ottawa Food Bank's longstanding relationship with IBM has been taken to new heights with this wonderful grant and outstanding volunteer commitment, in celebration of IBM's Centennial," said Peter Tilley, executive director, Ottawa Food Bank. "Our efforts to deliver fresh, locally-grown farm produce to the diets of those people in need of sustenance have certainly been aided thanks to IBM's ongoing commitment to Ottawa."

"In the spirit of societal responsibility first envisioned by IBM founder, Thomas Watson, and to commemorate our 100 year anniversary as a corporation, IBMers are giving back to the communities where we work and live," said Andrea Pavia of IBM Corporate Citizenship. "By partnering with the Ottawa Food Bank, we are able to help make a real difference in the lives of Ottawans as they work to put fresh food on the table for their families."

In recognition of 100 years in business, the 2011 IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business.

About the Ottawa Food Bank:

The Ottawa Food Bank collects and distributes food to Member Agencies serving hungry people in the Ottawa Region. Through donations of food, time, and money from local farmers, businesses, and individuals, the Ottawa Food Bank is able to provide food to the people in our community who are the most vulnerable.

About IBM:  For more information on the IBM Centennial, visit: www.ibm100.com.

SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.

For further information:

Patti Murphy
The Ottawa Food Bank
Phone: 613-745-7001
Cell: 613-295-7296

Carrie Bendzsa
IBM Communications
613-796-3880


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