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Fighting Hunger with Local Food – a win for Ontario!

By Heather Brady

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people in Ontario turn to their local food bank for support in putting food on the table. Although originally introduced as a temporary solution, food banks continue to serve as a vital response to the growing issue of hunger.  Throughout the province food banks have developed innovative programs to provide healthy, nutritious food to their communities. Despite their efforts however they continue to be faced with decreasing donations and increasing demand for services. As a result, many food banks are struggling to find enough fresh and healthy produce for everyone that comes through their doors.  Thanks to an act of provincial government, this struggle just got a little bit easier.

The Ontario Government made history by becoming the first province in Canada to provide a tax credit for farmers who donate fruits and vegetables to local food banks. Beginning in January, farmers in Ontario will receive a 25 per cent tax credit based on the fair market value of the produce that they donate.  This tax credit will help cover the costs of harvesting and transporting produce to food banks. Farmers in Ontario play a very important role in supporting local food banks and have donated thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables across the province. A tax credit will encourage further donation and will help offset the additional costs that farmers must incur to collect, process and deliver their produce to local food banks.

This private members bill was first introduced by MPP Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) who became involved after he volunteered at a local food bank in Sarnia and heard of their need for fresh fruit and vegetables. The idea was to implement a tax credit which would support local food banks, local farmers and low-income Ontarians. It would provide a financial benefit for farmers and would increase the supply of nutritious food to food banks and families in Ontario.

For the last three years Mr. Bailey worked with the Ontario Association of Food Banks to gain support for this initiative. While it has been a slow process with delays in bringing the bill forward because of timing issues, the bill received unanimous support from all parties and was championed this past summer by Premier Wynne. For Mr. Bailey this has been an example of what can be accomplished when all parties work together – the result is a win for everyone involved.

Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB), worked tirelessly alongside MPP Bob Bailey to bring this bill into reality and congratulated the Ontario government for this tax credit and for recognizing the importance of food security across Ontario. Alongside his praise however were some words of caution, “While it is great to see a tax credit of this kind created and passed by the provincial government, there is more that needs to be done, and more that can be done, to eradicate hunger in Ontario.”


Date Added: January 24, 2014 | Filed under: Blog, Government — Jessica @ 1:28 pm



Learning about hunger

Daily Bread’s Youth Program provides educational and volunteer opportunities for students aged 8 and up. If you are a teacher interested in bringing a class to Daily Bread, email learn@dailybread.ca for more information. Caileigh is a Grade 7 student who volunteered along with her class this year, and shared what she learned about food banks, Daily Bread and hunger while she was here.

I thought that visiting the “Daily Bread Food Bank” was a very humbling experience. You would not normally think of how fortunate we are to have all of our basic needs met daily. We all have food, water, warmth, shelter, and a school education. Some people in the GTA do not have those things to support themselves, or their families.

The people, who donate their time at the food bank, do so as unpaid volunteers. They generously help their fellow citizens, out of the goodness of their hearts.  As a school we collected a large amount of food, but that is only a fraction of what is really needed.

We experienced; packaging carrots, making little bags of milk, and packaging non-perishable food items. Even the few hours we helped made a big difference, and helped make the regular volunteers tasks just a bit easier, for a day. It made me feel good to donate both time and food to help people in need.

Most of the people that go to the food bank are embarrassed. They ask their family and friends for help first but eventually turn to the food bank. Visiting the food bank was a great eye opening experience. Spending your time helping the citizens that need help the most.

– Caileigh, Grade 7, TMS School


Date Added: January 9, 2014 | Filed under: Blog, News, Volunteer Opportunities, Youth Program — Anderson @ 9:46 am



Media Advisory – Fire fighters drop off food donations to Daily Bread

Fire fighters drop off food donations to Daily Bread
Holiday Drive extended to January 10 for food

WHAT:  Fire fighters donate food to Daily Bread                 

Toronto fire fighters will be rolling up to Daily Bread on Tuesday morning with food donations collected from the public through local fire halls. While Daily Bread has reached its $2.5 million goal, the Holiday Drive has raised only 505,000 pounds towards a goal of 1 million pounds of food. Representatives of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association will also be on hand with a donation of $1000 towards buying food.

WHEN:  Tuesday, January 7 at 10:30 A.M.

WHO:  Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, Daily Bread Food Bank
Damien Walsh, Vice President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

WHERE:  Daily Bread Food Bank
Loading Docks – Second entrance after main parking lot
191 New Toronto Street (Off Islington, north of Lakeshore)

GENERAL HOLIDAY DRIVE INFORMATION

Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at any local fire hall or participating grocery stores. Most needed food items include canned fish, peanut butter, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, canned/dried beans, baby food and formula, powdered milk and canned fruits and vegetables.

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For more information: 

Sarah Anderson
Senior Manager, Communications
T: 416-203-0050 ext. 238
C: 416-450-2196
E: sarah@dailybread.ca

 


Date Added: January 6, 2014 | Filed under: Blog, Holiday Drive, News — Anderson @ 9:58 am



Sounds of the Season ends on a high note

Thank you to everyone who donated to CBC’s Sounds of the Season campaign, a fundraiser for local GTA food banks.

Sounds of the Season ended on December 31, raising over $581,355, and breaking last year’s record of $501,200 by $80,000!

For highlights of the Sounds of the Season kick-off event on December 6, click here. Shows including Metro Morning, Here and Now, Fresh Air and Big City, Small World broadcast in front of a live studio audience along with special guests including Serena Ryder, Toronto Mass Choir, Commander Chris Hadfield, the Wexford Gleeks, Jian Ghomeshi and Amanda Martinez.

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Date Added: January 2, 2014 | Filed under: News — Anderson @ 12:07 pm