TORONTO, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - In partnership with Ontario Pork, the Ontario Association of Food Banks is happy to announce that it will be launching a new program this summer: the Ontario Pork Program. Through the direct donation of ground pork to food banks, this initiative could benefit up to 412,000 adults and children living with hunger in our province.
"This kind and very generous donation could not have come at a better time," says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks. "The summer months are often the most challenging for our food banks."
Food bank use increases throughout the summer, because children who rely on breakfast clubs and school-meal programs no longer have access to these services when school is not in session. With many families experiencing increased living costs associated with summer childcare and reduced access to these programs, they often have no other choice but to access their community food banks throughout June, July, and August.
"It might surprise you to learn that children are actually the largest group of food bank users in our province," says Laidlaw. "In fact, over 160,000 children access our food banks and their hunger-relief programs every single month."
The generous donation made by Ontario Pork will make a tremendous impact in ensuring children and adults living with chronic hunger have access to healthy protein, the most needed item in food banks. Recipients will also be provided with recipes and information on fresh ground pork.
"Ultimately, farming is about providing food for people. This donation by Ontario's pork farmers strengthens that commitment to families who are in need," says Ontario Pork Chair, Amy Cronin. "As farmers, we work hard to produce safe, quality pork and we are pleased to be involved in such a worthy cause."
"On behalf of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, hunger-relief agencies across the province, and the people we serve - Thank You! You have made an incredible difference in our work this summer, and our continued work throughout the upcoming year."
The Ontario Pork Program will launch its pilot program in Southern Ontario this June, and hopefully expand throughout the entire province this fall. This program was made possible through generous financial contributions from Ontario Pork, Elanco, Zoetis, Shur Gain, and Mabel Honor Farm - The Fraser Family.
About the OAFB
The Ontario Association of Food Banks is a network of 120 food banks and over 1,100 hunger-relief programs across the province. Together, we served 412,000 individuals, including 160,000 children, every single month. To find out more about hunger in your community, please visit: www.oafb.ca
About Ontario Pork
Ontario Pork represents the 1,600 farmers who market hogs in the province in many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance. The pork industry in Ontario accounts for 1 in 7 jobs, and it is estimated that total industry output from farm gate sales is worth $5.6 billion to the Ontario economy. For more information visit Ontario Pork's website at www.ontariopork.on.ca.
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Food Banks
For further information:
Manager of Communications, Ontario Association of Food Banks
[email protected], 416-656-4100 x2932
Mary Jane Quinn
Senior Marketing Communications Leader, Ontario Pork
[email protected], 519-767-4600 x1303