Peterborough-area farmers from Chicken Farmers of Ontario [Canada] (CFO) have joined the Hon. Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks to support the work of the Kawartha Food Share Program and to donate a large supply of fresh chicken for distribution to food banks in the region.

“This event is a great example of the impact that we can make by having government, farmers and community come together to focus on a single cause: to help end food insecurity in Ontario,” said Tim Klompmaker, 1st Vice Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. Klompmaker and his family raise chicken in the Norwood area near Peterborough.

“The donation made by Chicken Farmers of Ontario is wonderful news for our community,” said the Leal. “With this donation, Kawartha Food Share and the 11 Peterborough area Food Banks will be able to access more fresh, nutritious and local food that is so vitally important to the 8,100 men, women and children that are assisted each month. It is humbling to see stakeholders like CFO, the Ontario Association of Food Banks and Kawartha Food Share coordinating a gift that has such positive impact to the people in our community of Peterborough.”

“Kawartha Food Share is so grateful to the Chicken Farmers of Ontario and the OAFB for the donation of fresh chickens to distribute to our 37 member agencies,” said Ashlee Aitken, General Manager of Kawartha Food Share. “We strive to provide our clients with the healthiest and most nutritious foods possible so they are able to be active members of our community. Protein is an expensive, highly sought after item in our food banks, and without this donation our 8,000 clients likely would have gone without. Thank you so much to all of the local farmers who are helping make a difference in so many people’s lives!”

"On behalf of the provincial food bank network, I would like to thank the Chicken Farmers of Ontario for their incredible generosity," says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of the OAFB. "Protein is by far the most needed item by our food banks, making this an invaluable partnership that goes a long way in helping us to provide fresh, healthy food to families struggling to make ends meet."

The CFO farmer donation to the Kawartha Food Share program consisted of 60 cases of chicken (12 chickens per case) and represents part of a provincial campaign by Chicken Farmers of Ontario to donate some 100,000 chickens each year to the Ontario food bank system. Called CFO Cares, the chicken donation program was facilitated by changes to the Ontario Local Food Act which created provisions to facilitate farmers to donate the products that they grow. Almost 300 Ontario chicken farmers are currently registered in the donation program. CFO has partnered with the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) to ensure that the donated chicken is made available to their network of more than 125 food banks and over 1,100 affiliate hunger-relief programs and agencies across the province.

Kawartha Food Share’s mandate is to ensure that all members of the Peterborough County-City community have access to a reliable emergency food source. Kawartha Food Share is comprised of a number of member agencies, and provides a means by which those with food resources to "spare and share" can connect with those experiencing hunger the community. It is a member of the Ontario Association of Food Banks.