Food retailer Loblaws wrapped up a recent three-day national conference, that took place here in Ottawa at The Shaw Centre, with a charitable spirit in the name of good nutrition. And, Ottawa At Home even shared in the generosity.
An army of volunteers worked swiftly to package up the equivalent of three 53-foot tractor-trailer loads of perishable and non-perishable foods, which were donated to the Ottawa Food Bank and its Gatineau counterpart, Moisson Outaouais. This is in addition to the 7,500 bags of most-needed items donated earlier by Loblaws’ discount division.
Nina Kressler, President of the Shaw Centre, noted that while the Centre hosts many significant corporate events each year, this one was particularly special in that it gave the Shaw Centre team a unique opportunity to make an important contribution to our region’s most vulnerable individuals and families. She was on hand to happily pitch in with preparing the donated food for delivery.
Thirteen per cent of Canadians deal with food insecurity on a daily basis, and the local picture is no different. Given that the Ottawa Food Bank and its 140 emergency food program partners distribute twelve to fourteen tons of food daily, the need in our region is great. “We are incredibly grateful for this thoughtful and generous contribution,” confirmed Michael Maidment, executive director of the Ottawa Food Bank. He added that during the winter, it’s especially challenging to meet the needs of their 50,000 clients each month (including 18,500 children) so this donation will make a real difference in the community. Similarly, Moisson Outaouais is grateful for the support as it works to serve the thousands of people who rely upon them for food aid each month.
In addition to orchestrating this major food donation, the Shaw Centre has also prepared a free booklet to be made available at area food banks, providing valuable nutrition tips and easy to prepare recipes featuring common staples available to food bank clients.
The good work of our area’s food banks is something we have been proud to focus on in the pages of Ottawa At Home. Therefore, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough when approached by the Shaw Centre to provide two recipes for this project on behalf of Ottawa At Home. You’ll find my healthy and economical Lentil-Barley Stew and Tuna Pasta Salad among the booklet’s tasty offerings along with two great recipes from Geoffrey Morden, Executive Chef at the Shaw Centre. You can download the booklet at http://www.shaw-centre.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Stretch_Your_Food_Booklet.pdf .
To find out more about how you can support the important work being done to help those in need in our community, please visit www.ottawafoodbank.ca and www.MoissonOutaouais.com .