Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) will make an additional donation of $100,000 and up to 200,000 litres of incremental milk, the producer group has announced. This is in addition to the over 1 million litres donated to food banks annually in partnership with the Ontario Dairy Council (ODC) and the Ontario Milk Transport Association (OMTA)
Feed Ontario, formerly the Ontario Association of Food Banks, says that these incremental donations, along with the longstanding annual donations, will help support over 500,000 people during the COVID-19 pandemic which has put unprecedented stress on food banks to provide emergency food support for Ontario residents in need.
This additional donation of milk is being made with the help and financial support of Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd.
“We are thrilled to receive this extra support from Gay Lea Foods to help us replenish household staples that are especially in need right now,” says Carolyn Stewart, executive director of Feed Ontario.
The ongoing support of food banks is through milk donated by dairy farmers, transported by milk transporters, and processed and packaged by dairy processors Gay Lea Foods, Saputo, Agropur, Lactalis, Reid’s, Kawartha, Farquhar, and Organic Meadow.
Feed Ontario’s most recent Hunger Report revealed that 510,438 adults, children, and seniors accessed food banks across Ontario last year, an increase of 8,848 people over the previous year. That means that even before this crisis reached the province, available food resources were stretched thin. For 2019, 33 per cent of food bank visitors were children under 18 years of age.
“Anyone looking to donate can drop off food donations at fire stations near their local food bank,” says Stewart. “We also want to be respectful of the need for social distancing at this time, so anyone in a position to help can help with monetary donations online at feedontario.ca/donate, which allows us to purchase the food supplies needed for distribution.”