More Ontarians take action on hunger in response to rising food support needs

TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a time when more families and individuals are visiting food banks for the first time, this September thousands of caring individuals and businesses across the province joined Feed Ontario to take action against hunger in their communities as part of Hunger Action Month.
Organized in partnership with Food Banks Canada and local food banks, the month-long annual campaign encourages people to ‘feed change’ in their community through four key actions: educate, advocate, volunteer, and donate.While current safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant many of the regular events and activities of Hunger Action Month were canceled or changed, the need for support to address hunger in our province has never been greater.People and organizations across the province embraced the changes to the month, galvanized by the increased need, leading to the most successful campaign to date in 2020, raising a record $140,000 – the equivalent of 420,000 meals.“As many people and businesses have lost income or jobs in the last few months, more families and individuals are turning to a food bank in Ontario for the first time,” says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario. “To see so many Ontarians generously offering their help in these challenging times, first to our COVID-19 Emergency Response Program, and now to come back again during Hunger Action, is incredible.”Each week of the month focused on a different key action, providing participants with simple ways to take part in the campaign. This included visiting Feed Ontario’s Hunger Map to learn about hunger in your electoral riding; Virtual Meetings with Members of Provincial Parliament, and an email campaign to advocate for affordable housing; ideas on how to volunteer at your local food bank during the pandemic; and an invitation to donate to Feed Ontario or your local food bank.In Ontario, the lead sponsor for Hunger Action Month was Chicken Farmers of Ontario, with additional sponsorship from Barilla Canada and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.Turkey Farmers of Ontario also generously matched all online donations of $20 or higher made to Feed Ontario during the ‘donate’ week of the month (September 27th to October 3rd), with the financial equivalent of a whole turkey for a family in need to a total of $10,000.The matching campaign, which had nearly four times more individuals participating than the previous year’s campaign, was further supported by Butterball who donated a $5 coupon towards the purchase of their next Butterball turkey on all donations $20 or higher.The month also launched a new, multi-year partnership with the Freemasons and Feed Ontario through The Masonic Foundation of Ontario. As Feed Ontario and its network of food banks prepare for the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic on our communities, the three year partnership with The Masonic Foundation of $150,000 will help food banks continue to meet growing need through a focus on capacity building and community service.In addition to the provincial partnership, local Masonic lodges will partner with their local food banks in communities across Ontario through volunteering, fundraising, and other local-level partnerships.Finally, Hunger Action Month saw the 2020 launch of consumer facing campaigns with Flat Rock Cellar’s Good Kharma Chardonnay and Thornbury Village Cider and Reinhart Cider’s Apples for All Project. Additional consumer campaigns that where highlighted through the month included Lake of Bays Brewing Company’s Off the Grid Hazy Pale Ale, The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Caramelicious Cheesecake made with Snickers®, and a portion of proceeds campaign with MyClosing.“This year has shown us that we truly are stronger together,” says Stewart. “The amazing support of our partners and friends during Hunger Action Month and 2020 has ensured that Ontario’s food banks have been able to continue to serve our neighbours hit hardest by this crisis. We are grateful beyond words.”To learn more about Hunger Action Month, please visit https://feedontario.ca/hunger-action-monthTo learn more about how Feed Ontario is responding to COVID-19, please visit: https://feedontario.ca/covid-19/About Hunger Action MonthDuring the month of September, Feed Ontario encourages the public to take action to end hunger in their communities through four key actions: educate, advocate, volunteer, and donate. Run in partnership with Food Banks Canada and local food banks, 2020 was the fifth year of the annual campaign in Ontario and the third year nationally.About Feed OntarioFrom Securing fresh and healthy food sources, to driving change through policy research and innovative programming, Feed Ontario unites food banks, industry partners, and local communities in our work to end hunger and poverty.Join us as we Feed Ontario and help build a healthier province. Every $1 raised provides 3 meals to an Ontarian in need.For more information, please contact:Rachel Dixon, Director of Development
Feed Ontario
(416) 656-4100, ext 2937, [email protected]


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