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All Food Basics locations across Ottawa sign up to help city’s most vulnerable

Photo Credit: Care Centre Ottawa.
Two volunteers helping to prepare a meal using meat received from the Ottawa Food Bank thanks to the One More Bite program.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

(Ottawa ON) All six Food Basics grocery store locations in Ottawa have signed on to donate high quality meat and a variety of other fresh food items, including fruit, vegetables, dairy, and bread to the Ottawa Food Bank through the One More Bite program.

Launched in 2018 across the province, One More Bite, Metro Ontario’s food recovery program, began in partnership with Feed Ontario to ensure unsold fresh and healthy food is donated to local food banks to provide to families and individuals who need it the most.

For the Ottawa Food Bank, this means that six new participating Food Basics stores will join forces with 10 already participating Metro locations to donate a large variety of meat and fresh products. The meat is flash frozen prior to their best before or expiry dates and recovered by the Ottawa Food Bank for distribution to food bank programs across the city.

“Meat is often in high demand by food banks, which is why a program like One More Bite is so important to help make a real impact for those in need,” says Paul Bravi, Senior Vice President of Food Basics. “As a company we are constantly looking at ways to minimize food loss in our stores and we are thrilled to have all our Food Basics locations in the Ottawa region partnering with the Ottawa Food Bank to help reduce food waste, knowing that this food is being redistributed to people who need it.”

Since the program’s inception, Metro locations in Ottawa have provided the Ottawa Food Bank with approximately 1,976,885 pounds of fruit, vegetables, dairy, bread, and meat items.

“We are beyond grateful that all six Food Basics grocery store locations in Ottawa have signed on to donate to the Ottawa Food Bank through the One More Bite recovery program,” says Rachael Wilson, the Ottawa Food Bank’s CEO. “Being able to provide a variety of quality meat, produce, and other fresh items to the network of food banks in Ottawa and their clients is incredibly important. One More Bite helps keep our costs low and has such an impact on the health of our community.”

Prior to the One More Bite program, many of these products were meal options that the charity could not afford to provide.

One More Bite tackles two challenges – food security and environmental impacts generated by organic waste in landfills. Between 2016 and 2020, close to 4 million kilograms of food was recovered in participating stores in Ontario and Québec and redistributed to those in need. And, by 2025, METRO is committed to reducing the food waste generated by its activities by half compared to 2016.

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TESTIMONIALS FOR STORY USE:
“Meat we received from the One More Bite program has played an important part in helping us to provide nutritious warm meals to guests of our Emergency Food Bank. Most recently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we began to deliver warm, take-out style meals to isolated seniors in our neighbourhood as a way of combating both hunger and the immense social isolation experienced by many of our service recipients. Thank you to the Ottawa Food Bank and their partner organizations who help enable us to continue to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
– Lisa Fabian, Director, Care Centre Ottawa

“The One More Bite recovery program from the Ottawa Food Bank provides essential support for the Ottawa Mission’s Food Truck program, which has supplied almost 146,000 hot, healthy nutritious meals to 17 low-income communities across Ottawa since August 2020. The program began serving 500 meals per week and now serves 2800 meals weekly to people who rely on this support to make ends meets and without it would go hungry. This program would not be possible without this support.”
– Chef Ric, Director of Food Services, The Ottawa Mission

About the Ottawa Food Bank:
The Ottawa Food Bank is the main emergency food provider in the National Capital Region. Through a network of 112 community food programs, the Ottawa Food Bank helps provides food for tens of thousands people per month – 37 per cent of whom are children. With a focus on fresh, and thanks to the community’s support, on average 12 to 14 tons of food is distributed from their Michael Street warehouse every weekday. For more information regarding the Ottawa Food Bank and how you can help provide healthy, accessible, sustainable food for all, please visit www.ottawafoodbank.ca

About Food Basics:
Since 1995, Food Basics has been helping customers save money on their grocery needs by providing Always More for Less. Food Basics operates on three guiding principles: Always Fresh, Always in Stock and Always at Great Prices. Food Basics is the discount banner of Metro Ontario Inc. and currently operates 139 stores across Ontario.

About METRO INC.
With annual sales of almost $18 billion, METRO Inc. is a food and pharmacy leader in Québec and Ontario. As a retailer, franchisor, distributor, and manufacturer, the company operates or services a network of some 950 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as some 650 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Food Basics Pharmacy banners, providing employment to almost 90,000 people. For more details, visit corpo.metro.ca.

For more information or for an interview request:
Samantha Ingram
Communications Manager, Ottawa Food Bank 
samantha@ottawafoodbank.ca
613-322-6367

Stephanie Bonk
Communications Manager, Metro Ontario Inc
stephanie.bonk@metro.ca
1-416-414-7758

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