December 29, 2020
Food programs across Ontario will be able to help more people this holiday season thanks to more than $55,000 in donations made on behalf of the province’s pork producers.
Funds were raised through the Pork Industry Gratitude Project, a grassroots initiative started by pork producers in Perth County, who wanted to bring some good into a challenging year. The project wrapped up in December with a donation of $30,000 to the Feed Ontario network of food banks and an additional $25,000 shared between 28 community-based food programs.
As producers of healthy, high-quality protein, Ontario’s pork producers believe in doing their part to ensure people in their local communities have enough to eat during the Christmas season and throughout the year.
This December, in the spirit of holiday giving, each of Ontario’s 25 local pork associations were invited to nominate a food-based charity in their community to receive a one-time donation of $1,000. Some pork associations that represent a broad geographic area chose to split that amount between two non-profit groups. A full list of recipients can be found at the end of this release.
“The Ottawa Valley Pork Producers’ Association recognizes what a difficult year this has been for so many in our community and we were pleased to nominate the Ottawa Food Bank as a recipient of the Pork Industry Gratitude Project donation,” said Brian Hudson, Secretary/Treasurer Ottawa Valley Pork Producers’ Association. “There are many families with children who rely on this charity throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.”
Feed Ontario donation
In addition to this community-based giving by local associations, funds raised through the Pork Industry Gratitude Project enabled a one-time donation of $30,000 to Feed Ontario to purchase fresh ground pork. Feed Ontario is a network representing 130 direct member food banks and over 1,100 affiliate agencies, distributing more than 5 million pounds of food each year to those in need. This donation compliments Ontario Pork’s annual commitment of $40,000 per year to Feed Ontario, as well as the ongoing good work of the Ontario Pork and OPIC Friends of the Food Bank program.
“Food banks across the province faced increased demand and additional pressures this year as the COVID-19 pandemic brought job losses and economic uncertainty,” said Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario. “Having a reliable supply of healthy, fresh protein makes a huge difference in the lives of individuals and families facing food insecurity. We’re very appreciative of the efforts of the pork industry to make that happen.”
About the Pork Industry Gratitude Project
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perth County Pork Producers spearheaded the Pork Industry Gratitude Project – a one-time, people-focused fundraising initiative meant to bring some light into difficult times. More than $100,000 was raised to support:
- appreciation lunches for processing plant workers
- donations to help provide fresh ground pork to the Feed Ontario network
- donations by local pork associations to support community-based food giving.
“We’re incredibly grateful how the entire industry came together to have a positive impact during some challenging times that affected all of us,” said John Nyenhuis, a Perth County farmer and one of the organizers of the Pork Industry Gratitude Project. “No matter what challenges they were facing on other fronts, these farmers, farm groups and businesses stepped up to help others. That’s the spirit that makes me proud to be a pork producer.”
Through this initiative, the group strived to enhance a spirit of cross-industry collaboration and promote food-focused giving in communities across Ontario. Ontario Pork is honoured to see support directed to the good work of the organizations listed below.
- Community Food Share, Winchester (Nation Valley Pork Producers’ Association)
- Essex Food Basket, Harrow (Essex Pork Producers’ Association)
- Feed the Need Durham, Oshawa (Durham Pork Producers’ Association)
- Glanbrook Community Food Bank, Hannon (Golden Horseshoe Pork Producers’ Association)
- House of Blessing – Food Bank Program, Stratford (Perth County Pork Producers’ Association)
- Huron County Food Distribution Centre, Centralia (Huron County Pork Producers’ Association
- Kawartha Lakes Food Share, Peterborough (Kawartha Lakes/ Haliburton Pork Producers’ Association)
- Kawartha Lakes Food Share, Peterborough (Peterborough Pork Producers’ Association)
- Lakeside Hope House, Guelph (Wellington-Dufferin Pork Producers’ Association)
- Martha's Table Community Program, Kingston (Frontenac Pork Producers’ Association)
- Milton Food Bank, Milton (Halton-Peel Pork Producers’ Association)
- New Liskeard Salvation Army - Food Program, New Liskeard (Temiskaming-Cochrane Pork Producers’ Association)
- Ottawa Food Bank, Ottawa (Ottawa Valley Pork Producers’ Association)
- Paisley Missionary Church - Food Bank Program, Paisley (Grey/ Bruce Pork Producers’ Association)
- Salvation Army Food Bank, Woodstock (Oxford Pork Producers’ Association)
- Salvation Army, Barrie Bayside Mission Centre - Community Meals Program, Barrie (Simcoe-York Pork Producers’ Association)
- Simcoe Caring Cupboard Food Bank, Simcoe (Haldimand-Norfolk Pork Producers’ Association)
- Smithville Food Bank - West Lincoln Community Care, Smithville (Niagara Pork Producers’ Association)
- The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, Kitchener (Waterloo Pork Producers’ Association)
- The Grace Café, St. Thomas (Elgin Pork Producers’ Association)
- Word of Life Church – Meal Program, Blenheim (Kent County Pork Producers’ Association)
- Salvation Army Belleville – Food Programs, Belleville (Northumberland-Quinte Pork Producers’ Association)
- Salvation Army, Cobourg (Northumberland-Quinte Pork Producers’ Association)
- St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank Program, Glencoe (Middlesex County Pork Producers’ Association)
- VON Strathroy, Meals on Wheels, Strathroy (Middlesex County Pork Producers’ Association)
- Vankleek Hill Food Bank, Vankleek (Glengarry-Prescott Pork Producers’ Association)
- St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, Alexandria (Glengarry-Prescott Pork Producers’ Association)
- Watford Food Bank, Watford (Lambton County Pork Producers’ Association)
- Petrolia Food Bank, Petrolia (Lambton County Pork Producers’ Association)
About Ontario Pork
Ontario Pork represents the 1,180 farmers who market 5.5 million hogs in the province. The organization is engaged in many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance. Ontario’s pork industry generates $2.6 billion in economic output and 13,186 in full-time equivalent jobs. For more information, visit Ontario Pork’s website at www.ontariopork.on.ca.
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Manager, Communications and Consumer Marketing