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Record-Breaking Food Drive Led by Khalsa Aid Canada Supports Ottawa Food Bank

On June 15, 2024, the Ottawa Food Bank witnessed an extraordinary event: a record-breaking donation of 210,000 pounds of food, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Khalsa Aid Canada and six schools within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB). This massive donation surpassed the previous one-day food donation record by 14%, highlighting the community’s unwavering commitment to combating food insecurity in Ottawa.

The remarkable achievement began with the students of Avalon Public School, Henry Munro Middle School, Kanata Highlands Public School, Kars on the Rideau Public School, Rockcliffe Park Public School, and Summerside Public School. These schools collectively contributed 7,500 pounds of food. Khalsa Aid Canada generously matched this contribution, doubling it to 15,000 pounds.

Khalsa Aid Canada, renowned for its international humanitarian efforts, further amplified the impact by collaborating with Italfoods and local businesses. Their substantial financial contributions enabled Italfoods to procure an additional 193,000 pounds of food. The result was a staggering total donation of 210,000 pounds, a feat made possible by the community’s collective effort and generosity.

With schools closed during the summer, many children in Ottawa lose access to vital school breakfast and lunch programs, leading to a significant gap in nutrition. This donation comes at a crucial time, addressing the heightened need for food support. Currently, 1 in 7 people in Ottawa do not have enough food to eat, with children making up 37% of those who rely on the Ottawa Food Bank.

The delivery of this monumental donation was a sight to behold. A fleet of Italfoods tractor-trailers and numerous 5-ton trucks arrived at the Ottawa Food Bank’s warehouse, where staff and volunteers worked diligently to unload and organize the food. This donation not only supports the Ottawa Food Bank but also benefits the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation and over 100 food programs across the city.

Student leadership played a pivotal role in this food drive. At Avalon Public School, students creatively engaged with their community by decorating donation bags, which Sobeys filled with needed food items. At Henry Munro Middle School, the Social Justice club led the initiative, organizing the packaging and daily deliveries of food donations.

Mandeep Singh, Regional Director of Khalsa Aid Canada, praised the students’ efforts, saying, “Students learned that they can make an impact and they deserve to be tremendously proud. I hope they carry these generous values forward in their lives.”

Rachael Wilson, CEO of the Ottawa Food Bank, emphasized the situation’s urgency: “The food crisis is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse. Right now, 1 in 7 people in Ottawa do not have enough food to eat. This is more than double compared to 2015. Our neighbours are faced with impossible choices every day.”

The Ottawa Food Bank relies on the community’s generosity to continue its work. Annually, it spends approximately $9.1 million to provide a consistent supply of nutritious food to over 100 food programs across the city. Donations of healthy non-perishable foods and funds are crucial to maintaining this supply.

Juliet Robinson, System Principal of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, called for continued community support: “Food insecurity is a deeply concerning trend that we all need to pay attention to and work together towards a coordinated transformative solution. No child should go hungry. This is a call for action.”

The record-breaking food drive led by Khalsa Aid Canada and supported by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board schools is a testament to the power of community and collaboration. As we continue to face challenges related to food insecurity, the collective efforts of organizations, schools, and individuals offer hope and tangible support to those in need.

About the Organizations

Ottawa Food Bank

The Ottawa Food Bank has been the main emergency food provider in the National Capital Region since 1984. It partners with over 100 community food programs and distributes nearly 9.8 million pounds of food annually. Visit Ottawa Food Bank for more information.

Khalsa Aid Canada

Khalsa Aid Canada is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides crucial aid to millions worldwide. Since 2018, it has supported an estimated 85,000 people annually in Ottawa. Visit Khalsa Aid Canada for more information.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

The OCDSB serves approximately 77,000 students in Ottawa, offering diverse learning opportunities and supporting a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Visit OCDSB for more information.

Ottawa Community Housing Foundation

The OCH Foundation supports 32,000 tenants in Ottawa, providing programs and services to help them achieve personal success. Visit OCH Foundation for more information.

This inspiring food drive demonstrates the impact of unity and generosity, setting a new standard for community support in Ottawa.

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