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Dairy Farmers of Ontario to increase donations, totaling over 1 million litres of milk

Feed Ontario, formerly the Ontario Association of Food Banks, announced today that Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) will make an additional donation of $100,000 and up to 200,000 liters of incremental milk along with the over 1 million litres donated to food banks annually with their partners at the Ontario Dairy Council (ODC) and the Ontario Milk Transport Association (OMTA). These incremental donations, along with the longstanding annual donations will help support over 500,000 people during a challenging time which has put unprecedented stress on food banks to provide emergency food support for Ontario residents in need. “Dairy Farmers of Ontario have been incredibly dedicated partners for 25 years now, consistently donating milk to food banks in communities throughout the province,” says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario.

“The annual support of milk that is donated by dairy farmers, transported by milk transporters, and processed and packaged by dairy processors (Gay Lea Foods, Saputo, Agropur, Lactalis, Reid’s, Kawartha, Farquhar, Organic Meadow), has always ensured that food bank facilities across Ontario have a steady inventory of dairy available for those that rely on our help,” says Stewart. Now, an additional donation of milk is being made with the help and financial support of Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. “We are thrilled to receive this extra support from Gay Lea Foods to help us replenish household staples that are especially in need right now,” adds Stewart.

“As dairy farmers, we put great importance on feeding and supporting the communities where we live and work, so for the past 25 years it has always been a natural fit to support food banks through Feed Ontario,” says Murray Sherk, Chair, Dairy Farmers of Ontario. “We’re proud that residents in need across Ontario can always rely on access to the highest quality dairy thanks to the ongoing contributions we can make alongside all of our partners at the ODC and OMTA.”

Feed Ontario’s most recent Hunger Report revealed that 510,438 adults, children, and seniors accessed food banks across Ontario last year, an increase of 8,848 people over the previous year. That means that even before this crisis reached the province, available food resources were stretched thin.

“Anyone looking to donate can drop off food donations at fire stations near their local food bank,” added Stewart. “We also want to be respectful of the need for social distancing at this time, so anyone in a position to help can help with monetary donations online at feedontario.ca/donate, which allows us to purchase the food supplies needed for distribution.”

For information on your local food bank, please use our ‘Find a Food Bank’ function to find your closest Feed Ontario member. If you do not have a Feed Ontario member in your area, information on your local food bank can also be found at www.211ontario.ca.

Understanding Food Bank Use In Ontario 

  • 510,438 adults, children, and seniors accessed food banks across Ontario between April 1st, 2018 – March 31st, 2019, an increase of 8,848 people over the previous year
  • Ontario’s food banks were visited over 3,059,000 times throughout 2019, an increase of 4.2 percent over the previous year.
  • 71 percent of households that access food banks indicate social assistance programs or government benefits as their primary source of income
  • 53 percent of households served by food banks identified as single-person households
  • 87 percent of food bank visitors were rental or social housing tenants
  • 33 percent of food bank visitors were children under 18 years of age

About Feed Ontario (formerly the Ontario Association of Food Banks): 

From 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 its work to end poverty and hunger. Join us as we Feed Ontario and help build a healthier province. Every $1 raised provides the equivalent of 3 meals to an Ontarian in need. Learn more at: www.feedontario.ca

For more information, please contact: 

Amanda King | Feed Ontario | [email protected] | 416-656-4100 x2932

About Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO)

DFO is the marketing group for the largest sector of Ontario agriculture and is proudly owned and operated by Ontario’s dairy farming families.