TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) and its 1100 family-run farms across Ontario have launched a new program in support of the province's hungry. The CFO Food Bank Donation Program will help facilitate the donation of up to 300 chickens per farmer each year to local food banks. CFO has set an annual donation target of 100,000 chickens worth an equivalent retail value of $1 million.
"We're very excited to have developed this program in partnership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks which will allow us for the first time to have an effective mechanism to contribute to those food bank client families looking to put safe, healthy, locally grown fresh chicken on their table," said Henry Zantingh, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
The new program is made possible in part by the Government of Ontario's new Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers (introduced with the Local Food Act) which helps promote local food contributions by offering farmers a 25% tax credit for the fresh food they donate to Ontario food banks. Prior to this program CFO and its farmers in the chicken supply management system supported the food bank system primarily through cash donations.
"I applaud the Chicken Farmers of Ontario for encouraging their members to donate to food banks through this new campaign. Our government established the food donation tax credit to reward the generosity of farmers who donate to food banks, student nutrition programs, and other community food organizations. This credit, along with the initiative launched today by the CFO, will help provide fresh, healthy, local food to those who need it most," stated the Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.
Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Daily Bread Food Bank, could not be happier about this new campaign. "Being able to provide our clients with healthy food choices is so important and this program with the Chicken Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Association of Food Banks will ensure that our clients have a fresh and local protein option on their table. Proteins are one of our most needed food item groups." Daily Bread Food Bank provides food and support to almost 200 food programs across Toronto that saw over 700,000 visits last year.
"There are over 375,000 Ontarians who rely on food banks to provide their basic sustenance each month and unfortunately that number continues to grow each year," says Carolyn Stewart, Acting Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks. "This innovative program that Ontario's chicken farmers have put together will help ensure that more Ontario families will be able to enjoy fresh healthy locally grown meals on a regular basis"
For more details on the CFO Food Bank Donation Program please visit ontariochicken.ca/cfocares
About Chicken Farmers of Ontario
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) provides responsible, accountable supply management leadership to a growing chicken industry in Ontario. Ontario is home to the largest chicken industry value chain in the country (which includes feed mills, chicken farmers, and chicken processors) and supports the largest and most diverse consumer base in Canada. CFO represents more than 1,100 successful, independent Ontario chicken farmers who collectively raise more than 200 million chickens every year for domestic and international markets.
SOURCE Chicken Farmers of Ontario
Image with caption: "Minister Jeff Leal (centre) and Parliamentary Assistant Arthur Potts (left), Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs join Nancy Bennett, Daily Bread Food Bank and Rob Dougans, President & CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) to announce CFO's new food bank donation program. The program allows Ontario's 1,100 chicken farmers to donate fresh, local chicken to local Ontario food banks. (CNW Group/Chicken Farmers of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150120_C8842_PHOTO_EN_10374.jpg
For further information: Michael Edmonds, Director of Communications and Government Relations, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, [email protected], 289-288-4223