Project S.H.A.R.E. of Niagara Falls wins Ontario Food Bank Innovator Award

Niagara Falls food bank wins with innovative Ten Men in a Tent fundraising event

TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - On June 7th at the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) annual conference, two dedicated food bank staff members from Project S.H.A.R.E. in Niagara emerged as winners of the second annual Food Bank Innovator Award with the Ten Men in a Tent fundraiser. In order to encourage the sharing of best practices amongst food banks across the province, OAFB members were invited to present an innovative initiative in a contest inspired by the Dragon's Den television series.

Ms. Diane Corkum and Ms. Elaine Harvey of Project S.H.A.R.E. in Niagara Falls had mere minutes to present their idea to a panel of food bank judges and over 70 conference delegates. In a unanimous decision by the judges, Project S.H.A.R.E. and their Ten Men in a Tent took the prize for 2010.

"We signed up for the contest to share Ten Men in a Tent as a fundraising concept," said an enthusiastic Ms. Harvey, Executive Director of Project S.H.A.R.E. "This was a chance to encourage all food banks from small towns to bigger cities to use this versatile event concept as a way to raise money and awareness about hunger and poverty."

Late last August, ten community leaders volunteered to spend five days living in a tent and eating the same foods that neighbours would receive at Project S.H.A.R.E.'s food bank to raise awareness of hunger, poverty and homelessness at the local level. Ten Men in a Tent raised over $150,000 in donations and 60,000 pounds of food for Project S.H.A.R.E. People from all over Niagara Falls came to the tent site to show their support for participants, help out, and drop off donations of food and cash. Today, it is the biggest charitable event in Niagara Falls.

"I never thought Ten Men in A Tent would be like that," said Ms. Harvey. "Everyone in the community wanted to do something to be involved, it was so neat!" Food raised at the event was enough to stock Project S.H.A.R.E.'s shelves for four months.

The OAFB's Annual Conference was held in early June in Kingston to unite Ontario's food banks to inspire members with fresh perspectives, creative thinking, and practical ideas to respond to the long-lasting impacts of the recession.

"As we continue to feel the impact of the economic downturn, food banks must be innovative to respond to the growing challenge of hunger in Ontario," said Adam Spence, Executive Director of the OAFB. "All of the contestants demonstrated an innovative and impactful way of doing their work, and we were delighted to present the second annual award to Project S.H.A.R.E. in Niagara Falls."

The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of 120 food banks across the province from Ottawa to Windsor, and Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay. Over 375,000 Ontarians are served by food banks every month. If you would like to find out more about food banks in Ontario, please visit www.oafb.ca. For more information about Ten Men in a Tent and Project S.H.A.R.E., please visit www.10meninatent.com or www.projectshare.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Food Banks

For further information: For further information: Adam Spence, Executive Director, OAFB (Primary Contact), Work: 416.656.4100, Cell: 416.543.0897; Elaine Harvey, Executive Director, Project S.H.A.R.E. Niagara Falls, Work: 905-357-5121

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Ontario Association of Food Banks

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