Canadian Poultry Magazine

Chicken farmers donate $100,000 to Ontario food banks

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

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CFO seps up to support Feed Ontario’s Full Shelves Campaign.

The Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has responded to the surge in Ontarians seeking emergency food support by contributing a substantial $100,000 donation to Feed Ontario’s Full Shelves Campaign. Murray Opsteen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, emphasized the unwavering commitment of Ontario’s chicken farmers, stating, “Food banks across Ontario have seen a widespread increase in visitors since 2020. Ontario’s chicken farmers remain committed to ensuring a steady, reliable supply of safe, nutritious, locally-grown chicken for Ontario food banks.”

Opsteen further announced the CFO’s monetary donation to Feed Ontario’s Full Shelves Campaign, citing the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program. He noted, “Through the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program, Ontario’s chicken farmers donate chicken contributing to over 1 million meals each year. With Ontario food banks experiencing increased pressure, I am thrilled to announce this monetary donation of $100,000 to Feed Ontario’s Full Shelves Campaign.”

The CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program facilitated this substantial donation through existing funds recovered from the program’s successful initial funding. Andrea Veldhuizen, CFO Board Director for CFO Cares & District 4, expressed gratitude, stating, “Chicken Farmers of Ontario is grateful for this opportunity to donate to Feed Ontario’s Full Shelves Campaign and to continue to step up and do what we can to tackle hunger in our communities.”


Veldhuizen highlighted the persistent focus of the CFO Cares program on addressing the chicken protein needs of food banks with the greatest need. The donation was made possible through the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program, ensuring a steady supply of chicken to Ontario food banks.

Feed Ontario, dedicated to ending poverty and hunger, welcomed the support from several community partners, including Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Food Basics, Metro, and Toyota Canada, amounting to over $800,000 in additional support for the Full Shelves Campaign. Carolyn Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Feed Ontario, commented, “The donations we’ve received from generous community partners, like Chicken Farmers of Ontario, are an incredible reminder of what can happen when caring people and organizations work together.”

Stewart highlighted the impactful collaboration, noting that every dollar donated by Chicken Farmers of Ontario translates into the equivalent of two meals. With the increased demand on Ontario food banks, the ultimate impact of CFO’s donation is expected to provide over two-hundred thousand meals to support those in need.

Denise Hockaday, CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, expressed concern about the $2 million funding gap in the Ontario food bank network. Hockaday stated, “While our farmers are already growing fresh chicken for local food banks, CFO is pleased to be able to further support Feed Ontario through additional innovative means, such as this Full Shelves campaign contribution.”

The CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program has consistently supported local food banks, contributing over 1 million meals in 2023 and over 9 million meals since its inception in 2015.

As the reliance on food banks in Ontario continues to grow, the Feed Ontario Full Shelves Campaign seeks community involvement to replenish urgently needed staples and address the escalating demand for emergency support.

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