Guelph Community Food Drive Thanks Community for Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Guelph Community Food Drive Thanks Community for Support

Guelph, Ontario – June 22, 2015: The Guelph Community Food Drive ended on June 14th accomplishing both of its set out goals: to collect 20,000 pounds of food and to increase community understanding of food insecurity. With approximately 25,000 pounds of food collected, participating organizations would like to thank the community for their generous support and for making this year’s drive a success!

Citywide donations reached a new high this year with thanks to Guelph Public Library branches and the North End Harvest Market for acting as drop-off locations, and the following workplaces for running internal drives: The City of Guelph, The County of Wellington, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Hitachi, and Linamar. The participating emergency food providers are also very grateful to the many businesses, schools, churches, organizations and workplaces that partnered with them to collect donations, act as drop-off locations, and run workplace drives.

The Community Food Drive also successfully started a community conversation about food insecurity by sharing information about the issue on a local level. Community members were alarmed to learn that 16.4% of Guelph households are food insecure and that accessing healthy and nutritious food can be particularly difficult for people experiencing food insecurity. While this year’s donations to the Community Food Drive are a great help to meeting the immediate needs of food insecure individuals and families, donations unfortunately will not last long with providers relying on additional donation sources to keep their shelves from going bare for the majority of the year.

Emergency food providers are the only public source of food assistance for people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing household food shortages. While these programs and services are helping many people in our community meet their immediate needs, more is needed to find long term solutions to food insecurity.

“Our hope is that the community conversation started by the drive will continue,” says Randalin Ellery, Coordinator of the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination. “We need long-term solutions that see people no longer relying on food banks. Paying a living wage, offering a Guaranteed Annual Income, providing universal oral health care, and implementing a provincial housing benefit are all ways that we can work toward eliminating poverty and give people more purchasing power to be food secure.”

More information can be found at: gwpoverty.ca

For more information contact:

Randalin Ellery, Coordinator, Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination

519-822-2715 ext.4359,

randalin@gwpoverty.ca

About the Guelph Community Food Drive

The Guelph Community Food Drive started in 2010 in an effort to fill the shelves of smaller charitable food providers, such as neighbourhood pantries. Every year, volunteers from neighbourhood groups, faith-based organizations, workplaces, and service providers from across the city collect food and cash donations to meet the needs of those experiencing food insecurity in our community. This year, the Guelph Community Food Drive ran from May 29th to June 14th with over 20 participating organizations.

About the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination:

The Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination works collaboratively, informed by diverse voices of experience, to take local action and advocate for system and policy change to address the root causes of poverty. For more information, visit www.gwpoverty.ca

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