New sponsorship to enhance national program for Canadians who are helped by food banks one meal at a time
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, on World Food Day, Unilever Canada is pleased to announce its support of Food Banks Canada's innovative Community Kitchens program, a program designed to help ensure that more Canadians have the skills and knowledge to prepare balanced meals to share with their families.
Unilever is investing $100,000 in funding to support Food Banks Canada Community Kitchens Program that provides opportunities for local food banks to establish or expand their programs, and improve facilities. Nationally, these funds will help Food Banks Canada to facilitate best practice sharing.
Currently, there are over 2.7 million Canadians, or 8.8 per cent of the population, who experience household food insecurity at some point during the year. This is the equivalent of the population of Toronto! Further, almost 900,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks every month - 38 per cent of whom are children. Food programs support Canadians year round, but the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is an especially busy period.
"We are excited about this program because it will help address hunger at a local level with Canadian families who are at risk", said Alison Leung, Director of Marketing, Foods. "This program is important because it goes beyond providing food. It's about fostering the development of skills that will help families and communities thrive. If we can help families with even one more homemade meal or provide someone with employment skills then we've made an impact."
Community Kitchens are innovative programs run by local food banks and food programs, established to bring Canadians together to learn and share through a range of services and opportunities:
- Create balanced meals to share with families
- Receive education related to meal planning and preparation, from buying and preparing food, to how to stretch a food budget
- Discover new recipes and learn about new foods
- Learn new food handling and preparation skills leading to greater employability
"In community kitchens across the country, participants learn important skills and experiences that can be transferred to the home, such as preparing quality, balanced meals for themselves and their families, and even help build confidence and job skills," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "We are so pleased about the commitment that Unilever has made to Food Banks Canada's Community Kitchens program because we know it will make a difference in the lives of Canadians who are hungry."
The requests for Community Kitchen Grants can range from: support for the development of new programs for clients including skills education; large capital expenditures such as appliances and furnishings; or simply increasing the tools and utensils so a program can include more participants. Further, the funds will ensure that Food Banks Canada has the resources required to manage the activities related to administrating the grants and invest in the ongoing development of the program.
To learn how you can make a difference and support your local food bank, visit www.foodbankscanada.ca and click 'Find a Food Bank'.
To learn about the Community Kitchens program, visit: http://foodbankscanada.ca/About-Us/Programs/Community-Kitchen-Fund.aspx.
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 close to 900,000 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.
About Unilever Canada
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe®, Becel®, Ben & Jerry's®, Breyers®, Clear®, Degree®, Dove® personal care products, Hellmann's®, Klondike®, Knorr®, Lipton®, Magnum®, Nexxus®, Popsicle®, Q-Tips®, Simple®, St. Ives®, TRESemmé®, and Vaseline®. All of the preceding brand names are owned or used under license by Unilever Canada Inc.
Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals we have defined seven pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at http://www.unilever.ca/sustainable-living/.
Unilever Canada employs approximately 1,500 people across Canada - generating over $1 billion in sales in 2012. For more information, visit www.unilever.ca.
SOURCE: Unilever Canada Inc.
For further information:
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Food Banks Canada
Director, Communications & National Programs