The London Cares Curb Hunger Food Drive kicks off its 23rd year of collecting food donations for the London Food Bank this Friday, May 31.
Participation in this important annual food drive is easy. Between May 31 - June 8, Londoners are asked to donate non-perishable items while shopping at their neighbourhood grocery store, drop them off at their local fire station, or place them in a bag or box with a colourful ribbon or labelled ‘Food Bank’ beside their Blue Box on their recycling day. Now in its third year, green thumbs have the option to sign up for the Plant. Grow. Grow a Row program which provides gardeners with an option to donate fresh produce. Last year, 2,950 pounds of fresh produce was donated by participants.
"The London Cares Curb Hunger Food Drive is the longest running food drive and partnership of its kind in Canada," said Mayor Ed Holder. "Its success can be attributed to the generosity and caring of Londoners every year as we come together to help our most vulnerable. I know this year will be no different."
“The need for food donations continues to grow each year. The 360 families a month we helped in 1986, over 30 years ago, has grown to an average of 3,523 families per month in the first part of 2019,” said Jane Roy, Co-Executive Director of the London Food Bank. “In 2019, we continue the focus on increasing donations of fresh food."
Last year, 52,300 pounds of food donations were delivered to the London Food Bank from curbside collection, corporate donations, grocery store and fire station donation bins. Londoners have been incredibly generous over the past 22 years, donating 1,383,150 pounds of non-perishables.
Today’s launch also highlighted the activities of an ongoing pilot project in London with respect to food rescue at grocery stores. For two years now, the London Food Bank has been part of a pilot project working with Food Banks Canada and a number of grocery stores in London. Over 425,000 pounds have been rescued from the participating grocery stores; food that would have otherwise been sent to landfill, to make room for new goods. Today, this initiative was branded Community Re-Fresh and includes increased involvement from City of London staff.