Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Stay in the Fight Against Hunger


Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Stay in the Fight Against Hunger

$25K donation to Second Harvest will help reduce food waste and feed hungry families

Etobicoke ON, April 27, 2022 – Fruit and vegetable farmers from across Ontario are chipping in to help fight hunger across the province.

The members of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association have made a $25,000 donation to Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity that redistributes nutritious but unsold food through school programs, seniors’ centres, shelters, food banks and regional food hubs. 

While many individual farmers regularly support their local food banks and programs that support healthy eating, this is the second year in a row the OFVGA has made a direct donation of $25,000.

“There is a lot of hope that we are nearing end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is no question it has been a very difficult time for many families over the past two-plus years,” says Charles Stevens, Chair of the OFVGA. “It has also been a challenge for farmers, with public health measures to control the spread of the virus creating never-before-seen hurdles in food production. On behalf of Ontario’s 3,500 fruit and vegetable farmers, we are appreciative of the support we have received from government to help navigate through these times and are happy to give a little back to support those who are in need.”

Second Harvest is based in Toronto, but provides its free food redistribution service to charities, non-profits and Indigenous communities in every Canadian province and territory. Over more than 35 years in operation, the organization has rescued more than 218 million pounds of healthy food, keeping it out of landfills, and preventing an estimated 429 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

“At Second Harvest, we are on a mission towards No waste. No hunger,” says Lori Nikkel, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest. “This generous support from Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers will help move us towards that goal, supporting an innovative and efficient food recovery network to reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste, and getting food onto the plates of hungry families.”

The donation was made at the Second Harvest Food Bank location in Etobicoke.

“In times of need, Ontarians know they can count on each other for support,” says MPP Kinga Surma. “This donation by Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers is a great example of that. It is a welcome gift supporting the important work that Second Harvest does not only in Etobicoke, but across the province and the country.”

For more information, please visit ofvga.org. Join the conversation on Twitter @OntFruitVeg and Facebook at /ofvga

About the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association

The OFVGA represents more than 3,500 fruit and vegetable farmers in Ontario on issues affecting the edible horticulture sector. The sector generates more than $2.7 billion in economic activity by growing products in fields, orchards and greenhouses across the province for fresh and processed markets for consumption year-round. Collectively, the sector employs more than 30,000 people directly on-farm and generates an additional 66,000 jobs throughout the value chain.

About Second Harvest

Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue organization and is a global thought leader in perishable food redistribution. It operates at the intersection of hunger relief and environmental protection, tackling food loss and waste through food redistribution, research, awareness and education, continually innovating and collaborating to ensure a more sustainable plant.

Second Harvest works with thousands of food businesses from across the supply chain utilizing logistics and technology to reduce the amount of edible food going to waste, thereby diverting unnecessary greenhouse gasses from entering the environment. The inclusive model ensures this healthy surplus food is redirected to thousands of charities and non-profits across the country, providing millions of Canadians experiencing food insecurity access to the nourishment they need. Learn more: secondharvest.ca