On Hunger Awareness Day (June 1) Help Someone in Your Back Yard

Donate to a local food bank from June 1-11 and Kraft Canada will match your donation dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000

TORONTO, May 31 /CNW/ - In honour of Hunger Awareness Day tomorrow, Food Banks Canada and Kraft Canada are calling on Canadians to raise much needed funds for the hungry across Canada. Through the Kraft Hunger Challenge, running June 1 - June 11, Kraft Canada will match donations made to participating Canadian food banks dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000. Funds donated to local food banks and Food Banks Canada, and matched by Kraft Canada, will be used to buy essential food for Canadians in need.

In 2009, close to 800,000 Canadians were assisted by community food banks each month, an increase of 18 per cent from the year before, which is the largest year over year increase on record.* Those receiving assistance from Canadian food banks come from a wide range of groups including children, seniors, working Canadians and people living with disabilities.

"Hunger is largely a hidden problem in many communities across Canada but in reality it is in all of our back yards," says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "Although it isn't always obvious, people you see on the bus, children playing in the park and visiting the library may be going to bed hungry."

The Kraft Hunger Challenge helps food banks purchase much-needed food supplies for the hungry in their own community. Over the past six years, the annual Kraft Hunger Challenge has raised more than $3 million for community food banks across Canada, including more than $580,000 in 2009.

"The Kraft Hunger Challenge was created to help the hungry at the community level," says Dino Bianco, President, Kraft Canada Inc. "Although Kraft Canada's donation kick starts this important fundraising campaign, we want to challenge all Canadians to donate too so local food banks will be able to provide essential food to those who are not able to get enough food to eat."

Canadians can donate to the Kraft Hunger Challenge through their local participating food bank or online at www.foodbankscanada.ca. Donations can also be mailed to Food Banks Canada c/o Kraft Hunger Challenge, 2968 Dundas Street West, Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario M6P 1Y8 or made by phone at 1-877-535-0958. A tax receipt will be issued for all donations over $10.

About Kraft Canada

Kraft Canada has a long-standing partnership with Food Banks Canada to lead the fight against hunger in Canada. Kraft Canada donates an average of one million pounds of food to Food Banks Canada each year to help feed hungry families. Kraft Canada also contributes to Food Banks Canada through the funding of programs designed to raise awareness of the hunger issue in Canada. Over the past six years, the Kraft Hunger Challenge has raised more than $3 million for food banks across Canada. Kraft Canada, with corporate headquarters located in Toronto, Ontario, is the largest food and beverage manufacturer in the country.

About Food Banks Canada

Food Banks Canada is a national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our members and their respective agencies serve approximately 85 per cent of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short term need for food and find long term solutions to reduce hunger. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.

* Source: HungerCount2009, Food Banks Canada. For the complete 2009 HungerCount report please go to: www.foodbankscanada.ca/documents/HungerCount2009NOV16.pdf

SOURCE Kraft Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, Tel: (416) 203-9241 ext. 28, Email: marzena@foodbankscanada.ca; Katherine Clark, Cowan & Company, Tel: (416) 462-8773 ext. 55, Email: katherine.clark@cowanandcompany.net

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