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Ontario Association of Food Banks and The Grocery Foundation Launch Rural Kids Grant Program

$300,000 exclusively available to rural food banks serving children

Toronto, Oct. 1, 2012 – The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) and The Grocery Foundation today announced the launch of the Rural Kids program, a new grant program exclusively available to rural food banks and the children they serve. The Grocery Foundation has committed $100,000 each year for the next three years to support this initiative, allowing the OAFB to provide additional support to food banks and their children’s programs in rural communities.

There are 14,000 children living with chronic hunger in rural communities across Ontario, and children account for nearly 40 per cent of the people served by rural food banks.

“Rural food banks face more challenges than urban centres because of limited access to food support, fewer opportunities for food acquisition, and limited funds,” says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Food Banks. “The Rural Kids grant program allows us to provide the additional support rural food banks require to be able to provide children in need with access to proper nutrition.”

All 82 of the OAFB’s food bank members in rural communities – communities with a population of less than 50,000 – are eligible to apply to the grant as of October 2 and can apply for $1,000 to $10,000. Grant applications will be sent directly to all of the OAFB’s rural food bank members and available online at the OAFB website at www.oafb.ca.

The Grocery Foundation is an Ontario-based not-for-profit, representing leaders from Canada’s grocery industry, and committed to providing funding to organizations across the province that meet a number of child health and wellness needs including providing nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students.

“Grant funds will be used specifically by rural food banks for food purchasing for children or to support a children’s program that the food bank facilitates, such as breakfast clubs,” says Laidlaw.

The deadline for rural food banks to apply for the grant is October 19, 2012, and the OAFB expects to begin distributing funds as of October 31, 2012.

ABOUT THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF FOOD BANKS (OAFB)
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of 20 regional food banks and over 100 community food banks across the province from Windsor to Ottawa and Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay working towards a hunger-free Ontario.  It is our mission to provide food, funding, and solutions to reduce hunger in the province.  For more information about OAFB as well as hunger and poverty in Ontario, please visit www.oafb.ca.

ABOUT THE GROCERY FOUNDATION
The Grocery Foundation is an Ontario-based not-for-profit, representing leaders from Canada’s grocery industry.  It was established in 1979 to enrich the lives and wellbeing of children; providing them a hand up so that they can learn and succeed.  To date, The Grocery Foundation has raised in excess of $75 million which has gone to various charities including providing nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students across the province.  Many Grocery Foundation companies and their employees also work as volunteers alongside countless community groups nourishing dreams, abilities, and brighter futures. To learn more about The Grocery Foundation, visit:www.groceryfoundation.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Grocery-Foundation/188431637845168.

For further information:

For more information or to request an interview with Bill Laidlaw, please contact:

Muhubo Ahmed, Pilot PMR on behalf of the Ontario Association of Food Banks
[email protected], 416-462-0199 x 32

NT3