GUELPH – Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers have made a $25,000 donation to help hungry Ontarians struggling to make ends meet this winter. The contribution from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) is going to Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity that redistributes nutritious but unsold food through school programs, seniors’ centres, shelters, food banks and regional food hubs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many never-before-seen challenges at growers in the past year, and farmers are appreciative of the support they have received from government and from consumers as they worked to ensure a steady supply of fresh, locally grown produce for Ontarians, OFVGA officials state in press release.
“We are incredibly grateful for everyone in Ontario who has supported local business and local food this past year. As our way of saying thank you, we are proud to make this donation to Second Harvest to support their tremendous efforts in reducing both hunger and food waste,” says grape grower and OFVGA chair Bill George Jr.
“We recognize that this is a tough time for many people, and we want to give back to our communities and do our part to help those in need.”
Although many individual growers and others in the produce industry regularly support food banks and programs that support healthy eating, this donation is the largest ever made directly by the OFVGA.
Second Harvest is based in Toronto, but provides its free food redistribution service to charities, non-profits and Indigenous communities in every Canadian province and territory. In over 35 years, the organization has rescued over 177 million pounds of healthy food, keeping it out of landfills, and preventing 192 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
“We appreciate this generous contribution from Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers that will help us continue working towards achieving our vision of no waste, no hunger,” says Second Harvest CEO Lori Nikkel.
“We are proud to support non-profit food programs across Canada with our growing food recovery network that can both help the hungry and lessen the environmental impacts of food waste.”
The OFVGA is the voice of Ontario’s 3,500 fruit and vegetable farmers on issues affecting the horticulture sector. The sector grows produce in fields and greenhouses across the province for fresh and processed consumption. Visit www.ofvga.org, or follow @OntFruitVeg on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ofvga.
Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader on food recovery. With the global pandemic, Second Harvest is leading the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA), bringing together government, industry, Indigenous communities and non-profit sector to ensure food reaches the most vulnerable members of our communities, from coast-to-coast-to coast. Learn more at https://secondharvest.ca/.