(Ottawa ON) – The Ottawa Food Bank is encouraged to hear that, with yesterday’s passing of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s Bill 36, Local Food Act, its member agencies and clients may benefit from an increase in donations of food grown, harvested, and processed locally.
The Local Food Act will also create a non-refundable tax credit of 25 per cent for farmers who donate their surplus harvest to eligible community food programs such as food banks. Programs like the Ottawa Food Bank’s Community Harvest, Food Aid and Chicken Donation Program (in partnership with the Chicken Farmers of Canada) can only stand to benefit and, in turn, provide additional support to those in need in Ottawa.
“We are excited about this legislation and the positive impact we expect it will have on donations of locally grown produce to people in need across Ottawa”, said Michael Maidment, Executive Director of the Ottawa Food Bank. “Hunger relief is about more than just filling stomachs – it’s about providing nutritious food that contributes to better health for those we serve”.
Supporting the local agri-food industry is an initiative the Ottawa Food Bank has been practicing for many years and in a number of ways.
- Through the Ottawa Food Bank’s Community Harvest Program, over 90,000 pounds of fresh, local produce has been harvested and distributed to those in need in the Ottawa community in 2013 so far. This produce is largely donated to the food bank by partnering famers in the Ottawa Region who allow food bank staff and volunteers to grow or glean on their property.
- The Ottawa Food Bank also supports local cattle farmers through its Food Aid program which began in 2005. Since its inception nearly 1,800 cows have been purchased and processed locally. Through this program, the food bank has distributed over 770,000 pounds of ground beef, which provides much-needed protein to those in need.
- Through a partnership created in 2010 with the Chicken Farmers of Canada and their Chicken Donation Program, the Ottawa Food Bank has received 7,280 cases of chicken.
In 2012, fresh produce, beef, poultry and dairy accounted for 49% of the food distributed by the Ottawa Food Bank.
For more information on other initiatives the Ottawa Food Bank puts into practice to support the Buy Local movement, please call 613-745-7001 or visit the Ottawa Food Bank website.
The Ottawa Food Bank is the Region’s central emergency food assistance organization. Through its 140 member agencies, the Ottawa Food Bank helped 48,000 individuals last month, 38 per cent of whom were children.
For more information:
Communications Coordinator, Ottawa Food Bank