October 1, 2012 (Ottawa, Ontario) – At the Ottawa Food Bank today, Mr. Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was on-hand to unload turkeys donated by several Canadian turkey processors to mark the occasion of Turkey Farmers of Canada’s (TFC) fourth year of partnership with Food Banks Canada.  The TFC 2012 donation of $62,000 will be allocated to rural food banks across Canada, specifically to those identified as having the greatest increase in demand.  The food banks will, in turn, purchase whole turkeys or turkey parts to distribute to community members who are in need of turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving. 
“Our partnership with Food Banks Canada is greatly rewarding to Canadian turkey farmers,” said TFC Chair, Mark Davies, “especially when we see that it makes a difference for so many families that are working hard to make ends meet.”  Since 2009, TFC has donated $50,000 annually to Food Banks Canada. The Turkey Farmers of Ontario, Turkey Farmers of New Brunswick and Manitoba Turkey Producers have also contributed funds in 2012, raising the overall total donation to $62,000.  Throughout the year, efforts made by Provincial Turkey Marketing Boards and Canadian turkey processors result in significant contributions to food banks in their respective regions.  Local food drives, turkey product donations, and fundraising events result in providing a high-quality protein to thousands of Canadians.
“The Canadian food bank community greatly appreciates this opportunity to assist clients in enjoying their Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends,” says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada.  She added that “our member food banks are delighted to receive the funds to purchase turkeys, which also provide an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients for our clientele.”  Schmidt went on to say, “more help is always appreciated, so anyone wishing to contribute can donate a turkey or funds to their local community food bank.”
Nearly 900,000 Canadians turn to food banks every month and, of these, 38% are children.  Rural food banks make up nearly half of food banks in the country.  TFC has represented Canadian turkey farmers for over 38 years, encouraging cooperation throughout the Canadian turkey industry and acting as the voice for Canadian turkey farmers both domestically and internationally.

L-R : Peter Tilley, General Manager of Ottawa Food Bank; Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada; Mark Davies, Chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada; Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.

For further information:

Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, 647-252-5919, [email protected]

Phil Boyd, Turkey Farmers of Canada, 905-812-3140, [email protected]