Provincial and national ag organizations are finding ways to support communities throughout this crisis
By Jackie Clark
Farm organizations in Ontario and across Canada are doing what they can to give back to people in need during this difficult time.
One example is the Wishbone Project, a joint venture of the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) and Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council.
“The Wishbone Project spawned out of the joint marketing campaign which is co-funded by Canadian turkey farmers and turkey processors. Both parties felt compelled to give back to fellow Canadians in response to our current times,” Janice Height, director of the national marketing campaign and brand partnerships at Turkey Farmers of Canada, told Farms.com.
Turkey farmers and processors “recognize that everyone is vulnerable at this time and we are all in this together,” she added.
The project will donate $50,000 to Kids Help Phone to help young people who need support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are so many organizations that are experiencing increased pressure on their resources and who are operating beyond their normal capacity. Helping kids was a first choice for the Wishbone Project. Kids of all ages, in all parts of our country, need critical support and access to resources at this time,” Height said.
The Wishbone Project will also distribute $25,000 to community efforts to fight food insecurity.
The Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) organization is also focusing on feeding Ontarians in need.
“On behalf of its farmer-members, CFO is donating $25,000 to long-time partner, Feed Ontario, to help aid in their Emergency Response program, which looks to provide pre-packaged emergency food boxes to food banks across the province,” said an April 16 CFO statement.
The CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program has also temporarily expanded “to include frozen, pre-packaged and further processed Ontario chicken products in order to provide premium Ontario chicken to families and individuals in need,” the statement said.
At the national level, Canadian farm organizations are joining a movement to help promote local restaurants across the country, in a show of support for the other end of the food supply chain.
Dairy Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers joined Restaurants Canada in supporting the Canada Takeout Campaign, stated an April 16 news release.
“Canadian restaurants have been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19, with nearly two-thirds of the workforce now lost," said Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada President and CEO in the statement. “The outpouring of support from our industry partners has been incredible and we welcome and appreciate the help from Canadian dairy, poultry and egg farmers to aid restaurants that are still able to operate through takeout or delivery."
The campaign encourages Canadians to order food from local restaurants when possible, and leave positive reviews online using the #TakeoutDay hashtag.
Farm organizations in Ontario and across Canada are stepping up to show everyone that we as an industry, and a nation, are in this together, and there are always ways to help one another through difficult times.
ThitareeSarmkasat\iStock\Getty Images Plus photo