Help Make Everyone's Season Bright

Food Banks Canada urges Canadians to add food banks to their holiday giving lists

TORONTO, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - The November release of Food Banks Canada's 2009 HungerCount Report, the only national survey of emergency food programs in Canada, reported a 17% increase in food bank usage in March 2009 compared to March 2008, the largest year-over-year increase since 1997. Given this increase in need, Food Banks Canada is making an appeal to Canadians to support local food banks during the holiday season.

"We know that times are especially tough for individuals in need during the December holiday season," says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "During this challenging time of year, when many cannot afford the extra associated costs, Food Banks Canada is encouraging Canadians to dig a bit deeper and share the holiday spirit with others by assisting families and individuals in need."

There are simple ways that all Canadians can do their part in supporting hungry Canadians during the holiday season, such as donating to their local food banks or through Food Banks Canada's current partner programs:

Stop - Bring your friends and family out to the CP Holiday Train as it stops in 80 communities across the country from November 26th to December 18th. At each stop, food and funds are collected in support of the local food bank to help "feed the need". For stop locations visit www.cpr.ca and click on the Holiday Train icon or visit Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on Facebook.

Shop - From December 3 through December 18, shop at participating Loblaw Companies Limited corporate and franchise banner stores to support the Extra Helping National Food Drive. To find a Loblaw banner store in your area visit www.loblaw.ca/en/customer_storelocator.html. Consider picking up the top five most needed items highlighted by Extra Helping(TM) signs on store shelves and place them in the donation bins in-store, or donate funds at the checkout to help those in need.

With Campbell(R) Canada's Festive Program, buy any two Campbell's participating products from now until December 31st in store, and Campbell Canada will donate $1 to Food Banks Canada in support of the Campbell's Community Kitchen Fund. To help online, become a fan of Campbell Canada at http://www.facebook.com/CampbellCanada before December 31st and help Campbell reach its goal to give 50,000 cans of Campbell's Tomato soup to food banks across Canada.

Ship - When sending your holiday-related packages, ship them using Purolator. Purolator will make a 50 cent donation to Food Banks Canada for every non-account shipment made until December 31st.

Share - Consider sending electronic greeting cards this holiday season instead of paper ones. For every e-card sent through the Kraft(R) Canada Recipe for Joy program, $2 will be donated to Food Banks Canada. Visit: www.egreetings.com/recipeforjoy. The holiday card also includes a recipe box with great menu ideas for your family gatherings.

Shout - Cheer on Team Kevin Martin this curling season. Every time the team wins a curling match, the makers of Uncle Ben's(R) will make a financial donation of $1,000.00 CDN (minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $100,000 CDN during the 2009 - 2010 Curling season) to Food Banks Canada. For every new fan on the Uncle Ben's facebook page, Uncle Ben's will donate $1, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Individuals are also encouraged to donate food, funds or time directly to local food banks to support their work in providing assistance to Canadians in need.

Support - Donate funds to Food Banks Canada. Visit: www.foodbankscanada.ca.

About Food Banks Canada

Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member food banks, and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to reduce hunger. Please visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.

SOURCE Food Banks Canada

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, (647) 242-5919 (mobile) or (416) 203-9241, ext. 28 (office)


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