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Ottawa Food Bank and Ottawa Public Health reveal what hunger looks like in Ottawa at First Annual Harvest Breakfast

For immediate release: September 24, 2015

(Ottawa, ON) To celebrate the harvest season and recognize Hunger Awareness Week, the Ottawa Food Bank hosted their inaugural Annual Harvest Breakfast fundraiser at the Shaw Conference Centre today.

At the event, the Ottawa Food Bank released several new statistics regarding hunger in the Ottawa community.

  • One in 17 people in Ottawa have recently visited a food bank
  • First time food bank clients has gone up by 28 per cent since 2013

“It is unfortunately because of these numbers that we, and food banks across Canada, realize that food banks can no longer be considered a temporary measure,” said Michael Maidment, Executive Director, Ottawa Food Bank.

On a more positive note, the Ottawa Food bank revealed that 47 per cent of the food they distribute is fresh.

“With more and more people turning to food banks for the first time, it’s important for them, and all food bank clients, to stay healthy so they can take the steps necessary to get beyond hunger,” said Maidment.

Ottawa Public Health also attended to officially release its 2015 annual Nutritious Food Basket Survey.

Ottawa Public Health’s Sherry Nigro, Manager, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, revealed the cost of basic healthy eating for the average family of four in the City of Ottawa.

“Results of the 2015 Nutritious Food Basket indicate that it costs a minimum of $835 per month to feed a family of four a healthy diet in Ottawa,” said Nigro. “This cost does not include such things as toiletries and cleaning supplies – items commonly included within a family’s grocery bill.”

The event closed with a final word from someone who once needed emergency food assistance, but is now a proud supporter of the Ottawa Food Bank.

“I haven’t had to use a food bank in a really long time and for that I am very thankful. However, I cannot forget what it’s like to be truly hungry. I also can never forget the gratitude I felt because I knew I could go somewhere for help. Help that I would not have been able to receive were it not for the generosity of people such as all of you.”

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The Ottawa Food Bank is the Region’s central food assistance organization. Through its 140 member agencies, the Ottawa Food Bank provides food for 50,000 people per month, 37 per cent of whom were children. On average, 12 to 14 tons of food is shipped from its Michael Street warehouse each and every weekday. For more information on how the Ottawa Food Bank helps its neighbours get beyond hunger, or to make a secure online donation, please visit: www.ottawafoodbank.ca

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) provides public health programs and services to individuals and communities and advocates for public policies that make our city and its residents healthier. Each year, OPH conducts the Nutritious Food Basket Survey in accordance to a protocol established by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The results of the survey are used for program planning, to inform policy decision and to support and promote access to healthy and affordable foods.

For the full Nutritious Food Basket Survey findings, please select one of the following links:

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For more information please contact:
Samantha Ingram
Communications Coordinator
Ottawa Food Bank
613-745-7001 x. 105
samantha@ottawafoodbank.ca

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