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Turkey farmers donate $80K to mental health initiatives


May 28, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Canada’s turkey farmers have announced another $80,000 donation in the wake of COVID-19, which will support mental health initiatives across the country.

The funds will be distributed to Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada, two groups that each work to provide mental health-related resources and assistance to youth in rural communities.

“The country’s rural and farming communities have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are concerned about the impact on mental health and on our kids,” said Darren Ference, chair, Turkey Farmers of Canada. “These funds will empower Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada to provide a lifeline to youth in rural communities as we continue to navigate these challenging times.”

Since the pandemic started in mid-March, Kids Help Phone has experienced a continued increase in demand for service from young people all across Canada. The organization has the capabilities to reach those young people in rural and low-population areas as their services are available anywhere in the country, 24/7.

With similarly deep roots in rural Canada, 4-H Canada recognizes the unique needs of youth in those communities. Working with Kids Help Phone, the organization develops programs and resources within its healthy living pillar to support and empower youth in their wellbeing, including in the area of mental health.

“Across Canada, 4-H staff and volunteers are committed to supporting youth in a time when a sense of connection and community is more important than ever,” said Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada. “We are grateful for generous donors like the Turkey Farmers of Canada for supporting the programs our youth need now.”

The initiative is being funded through the Wishbone Project which was launched in mid-April with an initial $50,000 donation to Kids Help Phone, as well as an additional $25,000 in funding allocated for initiatives fighting food insecurity across the country. This second $80,000 donation will go towards funding Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada to ensure youth across Canada, particularly in rural areas, have access to the supports and services they need, when needed most.

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people.



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