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Farm Credit Canada drives away hunger


September 10, 2009
By Farm Credit Canada

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Farm Credit Canada drives away hunger
Today, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) launched the
sixth annual Drive Away Hunger program to reduce hunger across Canada. 




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Sept. 11, 2009,
Ridgetown, Ont. – Today, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) launched the
sixth annual Drive Away Hunger program to reduce hunger across Canada. Each
year, FCC partners with customers, schools, businesses, community groups and
rural residents nationwide to support Canadian food banks.

FCC Drive Away Hunger tours will take place the
week of October 12 in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and
Regina (FCC head office location). FCC is also collecting food and cash
donations in every field office across Canada from September 14 to October 16.
One hundred per cent of donations go to Canadian food banks. For more
information about the tours or to make a cash donation, the public can visit www.fccdriveawayhunger.ca.

FCC Drive Away Hunger began in 2004 when an
employee in Ontario organized a local tractor tour. He collected food donations
from community businesses as a way to give back to his community and help food
banks serve people in need. Since then, the FCC Drive Away Hunger program has
grown dramatically, with almost two million pounds of food collected for hungry
families.

“As a national organization with offices in rural Canada, we
are committed to reducing hunger, particularly
in the communities where our customers and employees live and work,” says Greg
Stewart, FCC President and CEO. “It’s all about the agriculture community working together with
schools, businesses and community groups to share the food we create, with
those who need it most.”

At today’s launch, FCC also donated $25,000 to
Food Banks Canada to support the National Food Sharing System. Canada’s food
sharing system ensures equitable distribution of food among member food banks
across the country.

“We know that hunger is an issue faced by many families in rural Canada. This
year, it’s even more important that we raise awareness because more Canadians
are feeling the impact of the current worldwide economic situation,” FCC Executive
Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Bergen told
those attending the national kickoff.

Every month, nearly 700,000 Canadians use the services of a food bank.
Almost 40 per cent of these individuals are children.   

“There are
more than 700 food banks and 3,000 related food service agencies in this
country. We all are grateful for Farm Credit Canada’s support of the food
bank community across Canada. FCC Drive Away Hunger rallies much needed support for rural
food banks and the many people they assist in communities across the country,”
says Katharine Schmidt, executive director of Food Banks Canada.

"We are
seeing a large increase in new people requiring food bank services,'' says
Stephanie Watkinson, Captain of the Ridgetown Salvation Army Community and
Family Services. “As demand grows, we are seeing quite a strain on
our operations, so all the support we receive is greatly appreciated.”

The FCC Drive Away Hunger program ends on World Food
Day, which is held annually on October 16. World Food Day helps raise awareness
about world food issues and encourages the public to help address hunger,
malnutrition and poverty.

If you are driving on a rural road in the next few
weeks, you may encounter a tractor followed by a trailer full of food bags and
people. Give them a wave or join in – it’s probably a team of FCC volunteers
and their partners driving away hunger.

 


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