Empowering Employees to Make a Difference

    
    TSX: MFI
    www.mapleleaf.com

    Maple Leaf Foods sponsors Community Day to help alleviate hunger
    

TORONTO, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - In the spirit of the holiday season, Maple Leaf Foods is working with an army of company Management Trainees to execute its fourth annual Community Day for food-based charities globally and locally.

Today, Maple Leaf employees from Canada, the United States and the U.K. will take part in Maple Leaf Community Day by volunteering in their local communities and participating in fundraising initiatives to help Free The Children's Kenya Feed Program which provides nutritious meals to school children living in poverty stricken villages. Maple Leaf Foods annually sponsors a Community Day and encourages employees to contribute time and talent or financial donations to food-based charities in the communities where they operate and around the world.

"We are always looking for ways to give back to the community. By sponsoring an annual Community Day, Maple Leaf employees have the opportunity to unite and take action to help those in need," says Michael McCain. "Our management trainees have taken the lead in coordinating Community Day initiatives and have organized everything from silent auctions to flee markets to help raise money for Free The Children or a local charity of their choosing."

Maple Leaf's management trainee (MT) program is three-year rotational program, which gives recent graduates the opportunity to experience diverse job placements, take on real responsibility and have an impact on the business while building a strong business foundation. Each trainee is able to work in three separate 12-month rotations in different functional areas at different Maple Leaf operating companies and locations. There are over 100 management trainees at Maple Leaf.

This year, Maple Leaf employees' generous contributions through their fundraising and volunteer initiatives will support Free The Children's Feeding Program in up to 10 Kenyan communities and has the potential to directly impact hundreds of children by providing lunch for an entire year.

"It's amazing how little it costs to help children in need. For only $25, one child in Kenya can be fed one hot meal a day for the entire year and $1000 can feed an entire classroom," says Michael McCain, President and CEO. Employee contributions will not only help the children in Kenya but will also indirectly impact the lives of all these children's families.

For more information about Maple Leaf charitable initiatives, visit www.mapleleaf.ca.

About Free The Children's Kenya Feed Program

Hunger faces countries and communities around the world, especially those affected by drought. Over the past two years, Kenya has experienced drastically reduced rainfall resulting in food shortages, and in turn hunger leading to malnutrition, a higher incidence of disease, and children dropping out of school. In response to these problems, Free The Children is implementing a school lunch program to ensure children are able to meet their nutritional needs to maintain their health, and to ensure children are able to continue benefiting from increased access to education.

About Free The Children

Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education. Domestically, Free The Children works with youth and community partners, empowering them to make a difference locally and internationally. Internationally, Free The Children helps break the cycle of poverty through the Adopt a Village model-building schools, water projects, health care, alternative sources of income, and at school feeding programs in some of the poorest countries in the world.

About Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2008.

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

For further information: For further information: Maple Leaf Media Hotline - Ph: (416) 926-2020; Linda Smith - Ph: (416) 457-1814


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