Direct Energy volunteers return to the field for third season (of
MARKHAM, ON, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, October 4, a group of
volunteers will descend on the fields of Whittamore's Farm in support
of Ontario food banks in time for Thanksgiving. Over the past three
years, the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB), Whittamore's Farm
and Direct Energy have sent 20,000 pounds of produce to the tables of
local families, in the name of reducing hunger.
This large gleaning project is a part of the Ontario Association of Food
Banks' "Community Harvest Ontario" program, which provides a greater
volume of fresh, healthy, local foods to Ontarians in need.
"With over 400,000 Ontarians forced to turn to food banks each month,
there is a significant need to increase the amount of fresh foods we
are able to provide," says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director of the
Ontario Association of Food Banks. "We are incredibly touched by the
on-going support of Direct Energy and Whittamore's Farm in helping our
In Ontario, it is estimated that province-wide approximately 25 million
pounds of fruits and vegetables are disposed of or tilled back into the
soil each year. Community Harvest Ontario builds the capacity of
communities to gain access to this much-needed food through great
partnerships like that of Direct Energy, Whittamore's Farm and the
"The gleaning event with the OAFB at Whittamore's Farm has become one of
our most popular volunteer opportunities, providing our employees with
a unique activity that directly benefits the local community," says
Hillary Marshall, Vice President Communications at Direct Energy. "This
year we have the added opportunity to sort the produce we pick at the
food bank, bringing us even closer to the families we're here to help."
The OAFB is working with companies, agricultural organizations and
farmers to identify additional opportunities for large gleaning
projects, and aims to launch a provincial program dedicated to this
activity. Direct Energy is the first company to provide and dedicate
over 180 volunteers, over three years, to a provincial gleaning
"Community Harvest Ontario shows what great work we can do when
Ontario's farms, volunteers and food banks come together," says
Laidlaw. "We know that a lot of families will have a good Thanksgiving
meal because of what we do here today."
If you would like to find out more about food banks in Ontario, please
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of over 120
food banks from Windsor to Ottawa, and Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls.
For more information about the OAFB, as well as hunger and poverty in
Ontario, please visit www.oafb.ca.
About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and
energy-related services providers with more than 6 million residential
and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers
with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a
portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica
plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies,
Direct Energy operates in 45 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia
and 10 provinces in Canada.
SOURCE Ontario Association of Food Banks
For further information:
Ontario Association of Food Banks