JUST GIVE's Cram-a-Cruiser Challenge raises more than 13,000 pounds of food for Toronto and Hamilton food banks

TORONTO, June 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation (MPCF) is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the Toronto and Hamilton police departments, local elementary schools, Meagan's Walk and Purolator, its JUST GIVE Cram-a-Cruiser Challenge raised 13,919 pounds of food for local food banks through the JUST GIVE Five Days of Giving campaign (June 1-5).

"We are consistently overwhelmed by the generosity of Canadians, especially the kindness of young people," said Michael "Pinball" Clemons, co-founder of MPCF. "We would like to thank all the organizations who took part: the Hamilton and Toronto police, our partner Purolator and, of course, our donors, who not only made the day successful but ultimately, will provide dignity to families in our communities."

Toronto and Hamilton police departments hit the ground running Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. to see which police force could bring in the most food donations for their respective food banks by 2 p.m.

The Hamilton police department raised a total of 4,583 pounds for Hamilton Food Share. The Toronto police department, with the help of Purolator, delivered 9,336 pounds of food to Daily Bread Food Bank.

The team at Daily Bread Food Bank explained that volunteers had to go home early that day, as there was no food left to sort. The summer months are a time of need for food banks, as that is when the number of food donations is at the lowest; food bank volunteers always hope that there is enough food to get them through the summer.

"It was an honour for the Toronto Police Service to be involved ‎with the JUST GIVE campaign," said Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. "It speaks volumes that the Cram-a-Cruiser was so successful. Thank you, Michael, for letting us be a part of your vision."

"The real winner in our friendly food drive competition is our communities," said Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire. "We thank our schools and citizens who partnered with us to help those in need."

All food donations collected by Purolator and the Toronto police were donated in support of Purolator Tackle Hunger® Week, which runs from June 1 to 5, 2015. The week-long campaign is Purolator's annual national initiative to raise awareness about hunger in Canada and collect food and cash donations for local food banks across Canada.

"It is both an honour and a privilege for Purolator to be a part of such a tremendous day, along with MPCF and the Toronto and Hamilton police departments, and help share the spirit of giving while tackling hunger in our communities," said Karen White-Boswell, Director, Corporate Communications, Purolator.

The MPCF's JUST GIVE Five Days of Giving campaign, which also runs from June 1 to 5, is a week of altruistic events, including the Cram-a-Cruiser Challenge. Each event during the week has the express purpose of brightening the day of a stranger. Participants include hundreds of volunteers, Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Mayor John Tory, Toronto Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Purolator, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Argonauts and elementary schools from Toronto and Hamilton.

As part of the Cram-a-Cruiser Challenge, MPCF also partnered with Meagan's Walk for another JUST GIVE event – the JUST GIVE Hug City Hall in Toronto. Participants of Meagan's Walk were encouraged to bring a food donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank, in support of Purolator Tackle Hunger Week. After the walk, Mr. Clemons and Toronto Mayor John Tory led hundreds of participants in forming a giant hug around Toronto City Hall, culminating with a group rendition of "O Canada" led by Canadian singer-songwriter Kim Stockwood.

JUST GIVE is an awareness campaign with a mission to inspire everyone to give. The JUST GIVE initiative was created by the Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation (www.mpcf.ca) with a goal to change the way the community thinks about giving on a daily basis. To learn more about all the activities happening during the JUST GIVE campaign or to register as a volunteer, go to www.justgive.ca. Help spread awareness by using @JUSTGIVE31 and #JUSTGIVE.

About MPCF
The Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation (MPCF) was founded in 2006 by co-founders Michael "Pinball" Clemons and Diane Clemons. Based in Toronto, Ont., MPCF strives to Empower Youth and Inspire Dreams with a focus on serving underserved youth in the areas of education. To support MPCF, go to www.mpcf.ca. Help spread awareness by using @THEMPCF and #MPCF

About Purolator Tackle Hunger®
As part of its commitment to helping alleviate hunger in the communities where it operates, Purolator works closely with its employees, customers, partners, Canadians and food banks across Canada to collect donations and help raise awareness about the issue of hunger in Canada. Since its inception in 2003, the Purolator Tackle Hunger program has helped deliver the equivalent of more than 7.5 million pounds of food to food banks across Canada. Help raise awareness about hunger in Canada by using #TackleHunger on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Meagan's Walk and Meagan's Hug
The mission of Meagan's Walk is to share a message of hope, to increase public awareness about pediatric brain tumours and to raise valuable financial resources for research. Brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. For more information, visit www.meaganswalk.com. Help raise awareness by using #MEAGANSWALK.

SOURCE Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation

Image with caption: "Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation, Toronto Police and Purolator tackling hunger as part of the JUST GIVE Five Days of Giving Cram-a-Cruiser Challenge on June 3. (CNW Group/Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150605_C8297_PHOTO_EN_17635.jpg

For further information: For additional information, to arrange an interview, to obtain images and more, please contact: Jennifer Branco, Executive Director, Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation, Co-creator, JUST GIVE Campaign, Jennifer@mpcf.ca, Cell: #647-528-7778, @jenbranco, www.justgive.ca, www.mpcf.ca, @JUSTGIVE31, @THEMPCF, #JUSTGIVE, #MPCF

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