Just as the earth literally and figuratively bears forth fruit, Canada's farmers know that it's important to give back to those who are in need. It's with this duty in mind that Ontario's chicken farmers are committing to donating hundreds of chickens to the province's food banks on an annual basis.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario recently launched a charitable campaign, where it and the approximately 1,100 family-run farms across the province will provide at least 300 chickens per farmer each year to area food banks. The goal is to donate at least 100,000, which on the market would be worth $1 million.
Henry Zantingh, CFO chairman, indicated that this is a rewarding opportunity that Ontario's chicken farmers are willingly taking part in.
Ontario's chicken farmers participating in the program are expected to donate 300 fresh chickens to food banks annually."
"We're very excited to have developed this program in partnership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks which will allow us for the first time to have an effective mechanism to contribute to those food bank client families looking to put safe, healthy, locally grown fresh chicken on their table," said Zantingh.
Participating Farmers Get 25% Tax Credit
Chicken farmers' participation is worthwhile from a financial standpoint as well. Farmers get a 25% tax credit for the fresh food they provide to Ontario's food banks, something that the government of Ontario made possible via the new Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers.
"I applaud the Chicken Farmers of Ontario for encouraging their members to donate to food banks through this new campaign," said Jeff Leal, minister of agriculture food and rural affairs. "Our government established the food donation tax credit to reward the generosity of farmers who donate to food banks, student nutrition programs, and other community food organizations. This credit, along with the initiative launched today by the CFO, will help provide fresh, healthy, local food to those who need it most."
Families going hungry is not a third-world problem alone - the effects are felt here at home. As many as 375,000 Ontarians visit food banks every month, according to the Ontario Association of Food Banks. Of these individuals, roughly 33% are children. Since the recession, food bank use has not fallen below 370,000 monthly visits, largely due to the aftereffects of the recession, preventing families from finding work. Between 1996 and 2008, the rate of working poor has climbed 73%.