REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2012) - With the generous support of more than 100 enthusiastic partners throughout the country, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) launched its ninth annual Drive Away Hunger program. This year's goal is to collect one million pounds of food and $500,000 for food banks across the country.
"All across Canada our customers, schools, businesses, community groups and the public are joining us in the fight against hunger," said FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart in launching this year's program. "Hunger is a real and pressing issue facing nearly a million Canadians, and all of us involved in Drive Away Hunger are coming together to address this need and help feed less fortunate people."
FCC's Drive Away Hunger program involves driving a tractor and trailer through various communities to collect food and cash donations for food banks across the country. One hundred per cent of donations go to Canadian food banks, and anyone can visit www.fccdriveawayhunger.ca to make a cash donation.
At today's launch, FCC donated $50,000 to Food Banks Canada. Half of this amount will be dedicated to the Rural Support Program, which provides additional support and resources to food banks based in rural communities. The remaining $25,000 will be used by Food Banks Canada to support individuals and families who use food bank services.
This year, FCC Drive Away Hunger program tours will take place the week of October 15 in Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, including FCC's corporate office in Regina. FCC is also collecting food and cash donations in every field office across Canada from September 24 to October 19.
"Canadian producers and agribusiness operators provide the world's safest and highest quality food, and they have a tradition of giving back to their communities," Stewart said. "They understand and appreciate the need to share food with those who need it most, which is the main reason behind Drive Away Hunger's success year after year."
"Agriculture not only contributes to the economic well-being of this country, but it also contributes to the health and welfare of all Canadians," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "I'm happy to see FCC and the agriculture community continue to demonstrate leadership through the Drive Away Hunger program."
As a Platinum partner, BDO, national accounting and financial advisory firm, has once again committed to collecting food for the Drive Away Hunger program. BDO has raised over 600,000 lbs of food since 2008.
"At BDO, we are proud to work with our communities to build strong relationships and help those in need," said Keith Farlinger, CEO of BDO. "Over the last five years, our offices across the country have rallied around the FCC Drive Away Hunger program, collecting food and monetary donations for our local food banks through a variety of creative initiatives. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Farm Credit Canada into the future as we help feed thousands of Canadians."
Cargill Limited, Parrish and Heimbecker Limited (New Life Mills) and Windset Farms™ are also on board as National partners, playing an important role across Canada in collecting donations and helping FCC achieve its goal.
"FCC Drive Away Hunger is one of the largest national food drives supporting Canada's rural communities," said Katharine Schmidt, executive director of Food Banks Canada. "Every year I am inspired by the energy and passion of FCC staff right across the country. There is no question that FCC and its employees truly care about families in their communities."
FCC Drive Away Hunger began in 2004 when an employee in Ontario organized a local tractor tour. He collected food donations from his local community as a way to give back and help food banks serve people in need. Since then, FCC Drive Away Hunger has grown dramatically, with over 7.8 million pounds of food collected to date.
As Canada's leading agriculture lender, FCC is advancing the business of agriculture. With a healthy portfolio of $24 billion and 19 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable - committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customers and the industry. As one of Imagine Canada's Caring Companies, FCC gives one per cent of its profits to charities and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.fcc.ca.