Source: Dairy Farmers of Ontario
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) awarded Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) and Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. with the 2018 Paul Mistele Memorial Award on Nov. 1 at Farm & Food Care (FFC) Annual Harvest Gala in Guelph, Ont.
“We are honoured to present these organizations with the Paul Mistele Memorial Award in recognition of their ongoing commitment to assisting families in need and local communities across the province,” says Carolyn Stewart, OAFB’s executive director.
Last year, in recognition of Canada 150, DFO donated $150,000 over three years to OAFB. In addition to the Canada 150 gift, Ontario dairy farmers donate almost one million litres of milk to Ontario food banks annually with the support of the Ontario Dairy Council (ODC) and Ontario Milk Transport Association (OMTA).
“It is important to ensure everyone in Ontario has access to high-quality Canadian milk. We recognize how fortunate we are to be able to give back to our communities, with the support of ODC and OMTA,” says Ralph Dietrich, DFO’s chair. “It’s our pleasure and honour to increase our commitment to the OAFB, and work on this initiative with Gay Lea Foods. I’m reminded of our core Canadian values and ongoing commitment to support our local community and families. We can achieve more by working together than alone.”
Gay Lea Foods is a longstanding supporter of Ontario’s annual milk donation program and proud sponsor of the OAFB’s capacity building program, which provides food banks in Ontario with funding to expand and accept, store and distribute milk and fresh food. Last year, Gay Lea Foods committed to providing at-cost products for five years in support of Ontario’s food banks.
“We’re pleased to be recognized alongside DFO for an initiative that exemplifies our co-operative’s values while supporting the very communities where our farmer members, employees and their families live, work and play,” says Rob Goodwill chair of Gay Lea Foods.
Named after the late farm leader who founded Ontario Pork’s donate-a-hog program in 1998, the Paul Mistele Memorial Award recognizes agricultural partners who have shown a significant and enduring commitment to ending hunger in Ontario.