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Online support benefits Nanaimo food bank

Nanaimo residents showed that a community can make a powerful impact with more than 31,084 names added in support of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank, earning the group top spot in the Pacific region for the Kraft Food For Families program.

Since Nov. 1, the food bank has raised $9,245 to help address its capacity needs.

“The support we’ve received from this community has been remarkable,” said Peter Sinclair, executive director of the food bank, in a news release. “We’re a small organization so these funds and increased awareness will make a significant difference in how we’re able to serve our community.

“Funds raised will be used to support our Food 4U Food Recovery Program,” Sinclair said. “Funding for this program is critical as it allows us to provide our clients with produce, dairy and other highly sought food items.”

Beginning in November, Canadians were asked to assist in addressing the capacity issues facing food banks by simply adding their name online at www.kraft foodforfamilies.ca.

For each name received, 50 cents was donated to one of 100 food banks in five regions across Canada.

A total of $20,000 was available in each region and once the $20,000 goal was reached, the food bank with the most names in each region on Dec. 31 received a bonus donation of $5,000.

“At Kraft we work closely with food banks throughout the year and one thing that we keep hearing is that food banks need more than just food to feed Canadian families,” said Jack Hewitt, vice-president of marketing insight and services for Kraft Canada.

“In its second year, the Kraft Food for Families program has continued to raise awareness about the capacity issues that affect so many Canadian food banks, such as lack of shelving space or old, outdated equipment. We’re so glad that this program will help the Loaves and Fishes food bank better serve the residents of Nanaimo.”

A recent survey from Kraft Canada, conducted from Sept. 25 to Oct. 25 last year with a selection of 73 Food Banks Canada member food banks participating in the Kraft program, found that all of Canadian food banks are facing capacity issues that affect their ability to provide food, services and support to their communities.

Capacity issues include lack of storage or serving space, food preparation facilities, cleaning equipment/supplies, vehicles/transportation, freezers and/or coolers, or other needs.

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