MPs band together for West African Brown Bag Blitz

World Vision staff and MPs to distribute lunch bags in Ottawa on September 26th

OTTAWA, Sept. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - World Vision Canada is urging Canadians to "brown-bag" their lunch this week and donate their lunch money to help millions of people facing a food crisis in West Africa.

"The Government of Canada's donation matching program for West African relief is set to expire this Sunday," says World Vision Canada president and CEO Dave Toycen. "Donating our lunch money is a small gesture for most Canadians, but together, these donations can make a big difference to millions of people facing severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of West Africa."

World Vision staff will be in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 26th to greet morning commuters and distribute lunch bags at locations in the downtown core.  They'll be encouraging Ottawa residents to pack a lunch and donate what they would have spent dining out to help provide food, water, shelter and medical care to families in West Africa. Members of Parliament from the Conservative, Liberal and New Democrat caucuses will be joining World Vision staff over the lunch hour to distribute lunch bags on the Sparks Street Mall, which has graciously agreed to host the event.

More than 18.7 million people, including four million children, in seven West African countries are at risk of severe malnutrition as a result of the current food crisis in the region. Erratic rainfall, poor harvests from 2011, rising global food prices and political instability in some countries have all combined to create the third major food crisis to hit West Africa in the past ten years. World Vision is providing immediate humanitarian relief in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Niger and working with communities in those countries to help them become better prepared to deal with future food crises.

"We're asking Canadians to donate the cost of one meal to help children and their families in West Africa," Toycen says. "By making that donation before Sunday midnight, the government's matching program means the life-saving impact will be doubled."

For information about the donation matching program, click here.

There are two ways Canadians can help children and their families in West Africa:

  • They can make a donation to World Vision's West Africa appeal to support emergency relief efforts.
  • Donors interested in supporting World Vision's long-term development projects can consider sponsoring a child.

To make a donation or sponsor a child, please visit or call 1-800-268-5528.

Click here to download video or high resolution photographs.

Click here to view a message from Dave Toycen, president, World Vision Canada.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at

SOURCE: World Vision Canada

For further information:

Bob Neufeld, Tel. 647-622-2045,
Tiffany Baggetta, Tel. 416-305-9612,

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