Uncle Ben's

Uncle Ben's

October 21, 2009 11:38 ET

Uncle Ben's® Rice Joins Forces With Team Kevin Martin in the Fight Against Hunger

The makers of Uncle Ben's® are raising awareness of hunger and contributing funds to the Food Banks Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2009) -

A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

The makers of Uncle Ben's® are thrilled to announce the national launch of its program to help raise awareness of the problem of hunger in Canada. The makers of Uncle Ben's® intend to grow the campaign, over the coming years, into a multi-faceted program that will support Food Banks Canada with much needed awareness and funds, at the same time providing opportunities to identify and honour Canadians who are working to combat hunger in their own communities.

To kick off the program, the makers of Uncle Ben's® will rally behind their sponsored athletes, Team Kevin Martin, one of the top curling teams in the world. Beginning today, the makers of Uncle Ben's® will add to a growing fund for Food Banks Canada for each curling match Team Martin wins, until the end of April, 2010.

"I know I speak for my teammates when I say that we're very proud to be the first faces of the Uncles Ben's® campaign," said Kevin Martin, skip for Team Martin. "Our competition journey will be all the more motivated by knowing that we are actively helping in the fight against hunger and are part of such a wonderful program that gives back to an important cause." As the program rolls out, the makers of Uncle Ben's® will establish opportunities to champion people in communities across the country who are working to make a difference in feeding hungry Canadians through direct support and awareness-raising activities.

"We are committed to a vision of giving back to Canadian communities," said J.R. Edwards, Senior Brand Manager, and Uncle Ben's®. "Uncle Ben's® brand has always been about providing good, healthy meal options for Canadians. We want to help make a real impact in helping ensure Canadians have food to eat. In these challenging times, Canadian businesses have a responsibility to roll up our sleeves and find ways to give back."

More than 700,000 Canadians turn to a food bank each month, 37 per cent of whom are children. March 2009 data on food bank usage, in comparison with March 2008, revealed that there has been a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the number of Canadians accessing food banks each month. Food Banks Canada helps support food banks by acquiring and sharing both food and funds, conducting research and educating Canadians on the issue of hunger in Canada. "Food Banks Canada is grateful to the makers of Uncle Ben's® for assisting us in our mission of feeding hungry Canadians. This innovative program will help ensure individuals and families across Canada receive the support needed to put food on the table" said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "We are very excited to have the Uncle Ben's® brand working with us to make a real impact in reducing hunger in Canada."

This initiative represents the first of what we hope will be a multi-year program where the makers of Uncle Ben's® will aim to build and sustain awareness across Canada, generating funds for Food Banks Canada. A variety of communications initiatives and activities will be rolled out over time as part of Uncle Ben's® brand dedication towards the ongoing fight against hunger.

About Mars Canada Inc.

Mars Canada Inc. is a division of Mars, Incorporated, a private family-owned company founded in 1911 and employing 70,000 associates at more than 300 sites in 75 countries generating revenues of over $30 billion annually. Headquartered in Bolton, Ontario, Mars Canada employs more than 750 associates and 3 sites, including 3 manufacturing facilities. The company owns some of the world's leading brands, including UNCLE BEN'S® Rice, MARS®, M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, MALTESERS®, chocolate products, PEDIGREE®, CESAR® and WHISKAS® petcare products. For more information, please visit www.mars.com.

Uncle Ben's, Rice it Up, Uncle Ben's and Rice it Up design are trademarks of Mars Canada Inc.

About Food Banks Canada:

Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our members and their respective agencies serve approximately 85 per cent of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short term need for food and find long term solution to reduce hunger. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.

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