Guelph, Ont. – Ontario Pork and the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) have launched a new program for the summer.
Through the new Ontario Pork Program, Ontario Pork will donate ground pork to food banks, which could benefit up to 412,000 adults and children living with hunger in Ontario.
For the food banks, the donation comes at a good time.
The OAFB explains that food bank use often 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 Ontarians to learn that children are actually the largest group of food bank users in our province,” says Bill Laidlaw, executive director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
“In fact, more than 160,000 children access our food banks and their hunger-relief programs every single month.”
Ontario Pork’s donation will help to ensure children and adults living with chronic hunger have access to healthy protein, the most needed in food banks.
Recipients will also be provided with recipes and information on fresh ground pork.
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.
The OAFB is a network of 120 food banks and more than 1,100 hunger-relief programs across the province. Together, the network serves 412,000 individuals, including 160,000 children, every single month.
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. It is estimated that total industry output from farm gate sales is worth $5.6 billion to the Ontario economy.