The Grocery Foundation commits $100,000 in support of Rural Kids Program
TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Child hunger has hit an all-time high in rural Ontario, with over 14,000 children accessing rural food banks and their hunger relief programs every month. This is according to the 2012 Hunger Report released by the Ontario Association of Food Banks late last year.
"Rural communities have always been a particular concern for the OAFB," says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director. "Oftentimes, they face more challenges than urban centres because of their limited access to food support, fewer opportunities for food acquisition, and limited funds."
In response to this increase in demand, The Grocery Foundation has once again committed $100,000 in support of the OAFB's Rural Kids Program. This is the second consecutive year the foundation has provided this funding, which is a part of their three year commitment to the program.
"The Grocery Foundation is pleased to be providing support to The Rural Kids Program. By working together, we believe we are making a difference in the lives of children in Ontario," says Michelle Scott, Executive Director, The Grocery Foundation.
Through this program, food banks in rural Ontario are able to apply to the Ontario Association of Food Banks for up to $5,000 in financial support for food purchasing for the children they serve. Food purchases will include fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, and granola bars for children's lunches as well as staple products for their meals at home.
Last year 30 rural food banks applied for funding through the program. All food banks that applied to the program received funding, which was directed towards food purchasing for kids, existing kids programs, such as breakfast clubs or school snack programs, or innovative new opportunities, such as the 'Dads and Kids' cooking class. As a result of The Grocery Foundation's commitment to the program, over 9,000 children in rural Ontario received monthly support that might not have otherwise been available.
"The support from The Grocery Foundation, through the Rural Kids Program, allows us to provide the additional support rural food banks require to be able to provide children in need with access to proper nutrition," says Laidlaw. "We are incredibly grateful for this support and the foundation's ongoing commitment to children living with hunger."
ABOUT THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF FOOD BANKS
The Ontario Association of Food Banks is a network of 120 food banks and over 1,100 hunger-relief agencies. Together, we serve 412,900 individuals, including 159,000 children every month, through a number of food programs and services, such as: breakfast clubs, school meal programs, community kitchens, emergency shelters, seniors centres, and small neighbourhood food banks. For more information please visit www.oafb.ca
ABOUT THE GROCERY FOUNDATION
The Grocery Foundation is an Ontario-based not-for profit, representing leaders from Canada's grocery industry. It was established in 1979 to enrich the lives and wellbeing of children; providing them a hand up so that they can learn and succeed. To date, The Grocery Foundation has raised in excess of $75 million which has gone to various charities including providing nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students across the province. Many Grocery Foundation companies and their employees also work as volunteers alongside countless community groups nourishing dreams, abilities, and brighter futures. To learn more about The Grocery Foundation, visit: www.groceryfoundation.com
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Food Banks
For further information:
or to request an interview with Bill Laidlaw, please contact:
Amanda King, Manager of Communications, Ontario Association of Food Banks
firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-656-4100 x2932