MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 28, 2017 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada presented the National Food Bank Awards to recognize the outstanding contributions to food banking in Canada. The awards were presented at the Food Banks Canada Network Conference in Calgary, Alberta.
The National Food Bank Awards were created to recognize the unique and diverse ways that food banks serve their communities. Recipients of the Food Banking Awards go above and beyond their core mission to provide essential food services to those in need. Award recipients play an integral role in improving the communities they serve through creative, efficient programs and services that exemplify the highest standards of operation. Additionally the Ed Bloos Award was presented to honour an individual's achievement and impact on food banking beyond their local community, particularly at a national level.
The full list of Excellence in Food Banking award recipients for 2017 is:
- The Ed Bloos Memorial Award: Brent Palmer, Director of Stakeholder Engagement of the Mustard Seed in Victoria, BC – A pioneer in food banking with a career spanning over three decades. Mr. Palmer, has dedicated his life to The Mustard Seed, one of BC's first food banks and has been active at the provincial and national level. Brent was pivotal in facilitating working relationships between municipal, provincial and national level organizations, knowing there is power in working together.
- Excellence in Food Banking: Medium Size Food Bank: Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie, AB – For the building of a new food bank that better enabled them to become a hub for smaller, rural banks .This also created more space for the multiple programs which are run out of their organization. They are an excellent example of understanding the needs of their region and providing help in the targeted ways required.
- Winner of the Excellence in Food Banking: Large Size Food Bank is the Central Okanagan Food Bank, Kelowna, BC – For amalgamating area food banks, resulting in a stronger, healthier organization. This project put territories aside to work for the greater good of the Central Okanagan, knowing that they would be stronger working together, towards a common goal of relieving hunger.
- Winner of the Food Bank Innovator Award is the Mississauga Food Bank, Mississauga, ON – For combining aquaculture and hydroponics to raise fish and grow fresh greens to distribute to their local agencies. This endeavor exemplified the ability of food banks to come up with cutting edge and forward thinking solutions to every day challenges.
- Winner of the Provincial Innovator Award is Food Banks Alberta, AB – For their emergency response to the wildfires in the Wood Buffalo region of Alberta, in May 2016. The provincial association showed its ability to think on its feet and problem solve with the immediate needs of its people as the underlying mission.
"I am truly honoured to have had the opportunity to have worked with Ed Bloos who inspired many of us", says Brent Palmer. "It is an honour to receive this award that was named after him,"
With usage of food banks in Canada being 28 percent higher than in 2008 and eight out of ten provinces seeing an increase in usage, the role of food banks is more important than ever. Food banks are at the forefront of providing essential services to people in need and have become adept at doing so much with so little.
"We are so proud to recognize the organizations and individuals who commit to a life of helping their fellow Canadians," says Katharine Schmidt Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "Their bold innovation and clear purpose in attempting to create a Canada where no one goes hungry is nothing short of inspirational."
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of over 3,000 food-related organizations in every province and territory that assists more than 850,000 Canadians each month. Together our network shares over 200 million pounds of essential safe quality food annually, provides social programs that help to foster self-sufficiency, and advocates for policy change that will help create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Visit foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
SOURCE Food Banks Canada
For further information: Marzena Gersho, Director, Communications and National Programs, Food Banks Canada, 905-602-5234 x228 or 647-242-5919, [email protected]