Media Centre
2014/12/08

Join the Solution for Food Insecurity with Maple Leaf's 12 Days of Giving

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 8, 2014 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --Food insecurity affects more than 4 million Canadians. Today, Maple Leaf Foods is launching 12 Days of Giving, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about food insecurity and engage Canadians to help find a solution.

From Dec. 8 to Dec. 20, Maple Leaf employees will be fundraising and volunteering with organizations across Canada to spread the word about food insecurity in their cities and help people in need receive nutritious food and other important support needed to overcome food insecurity over the holidays.

"Rising levels of food insecurity is an issue that concerns all Canadians," said Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Maple Leaf Foods. "Our employees feel very passionately about making a positive difference in their communities. This campaign brings together our collective resources and desire to be a positive force for change."

Food security includes both physical and economic access to food that meets people's dietary needs as well as their food preferences. Food security is built on three pillars:

    --  Food availability: sufficient quantities of nutritious food
        available on a consistent basis.
    --  Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate
        food for a nutritious diet.
    --  Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of nutrition, care
        and cultural sensitivities, as well as adequate water and
        sanitation.


Food insecurity happens when food availability, access or use can't be met.

Canadians can help raise awareness by re-tweeting and sharing the information Maple Leaf will be sending out on Twitter under the hashtags #MLF12days and #FeedingtheCountry and on Facebook during the 12 Days of Giving. The Company will highlight important food security information and showcase organizations that are making a difference. There will be photos of employees volunteering in-action during the holidays. Maple Leaf's goal is to raise more than $60,000 and food resources for food insecurity causes this holiday season.

Visit www.mapleleaf.ca to follow 12 Days of Giving. To learn what Maple Leaf is doing to support communities in Canada and abroad, please visit: www.mapleleafcommunities.ca. Click on the Feeding the Country tab to watch a video of Zulekah Suni from Rapport Youth and Family Services, the winner of the Company's recent $10,000 Feeding the Country Grant and a partnering organization for Maple Leaf's 12 Days of Giving.

Maple Leaf Foods is Canada's leading consumer packaged meats company, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. The Company makes high-quality, great tasting, nutritious and innovative food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf(®), Maple Leaf Prime(®), Maple Leaf Natural Selections(®), Schneiders(®), Schneiders Country Naturals(®) and Mina(TM). The Company employs approximately 12,000 people in its operations across Canada and exports to more than 20 global markets including the U.S. and Asia.

BACKGROUNDER

Maple Leaf's 12 Days of Giving is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about food insecurity and engage Canadians to help find a solution. The Company is partnering with the following organizations to raise awareness:

    Location      Organization                        Activity                       Date
    --------      ------------                        --------                       ----

     Canada-      Maple Leaf Foods                     Festive Sweater Fundraising
     wide                                              Campaign                      Dec. 8
    --------                         ---------------- ----------------------------   ------

     Lethbridge,
     AB           Lethbridge Food Bank                Food Hampers and Fundraising   Dec. 9
     -----------  --------------------                ----------------------------   ------

     Hamilton,
     ON           Good Shepherd                       Food Hampers and Fundraising   Dec. 10
     ---------    -------------                       ----------------------------   -------

     Saskatoon,    Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning    Baby Food and Milk Money
     SK            Centre                              Donation Campaign             Dec. 11
    -----------   ---------------------------------   -------------------------      -------

     Laval,
     QC           Centre De Benevolat                 Food Donation                  Dec. 12
     ------       -------------------                 -------------                  -------

     Brampton,
     ON           Peel Children's Aid Foundation      Sponsor a Family               Dec. 12
     ---------    ------------------------------      ----------------               -------

     Brantford,
     ON           Salvation Army                      Volunteer Lunch Service        Dec.15
     ----------   --------------                      -----------------------        ------

     Mississauga,
     ON           Rapport Youth and Family Services   "Get fit" Toy Drive            Dec. 15, 16 and 17
     ------------ ---------------------------------   -------------------            ------------------

     Brandon,
     ON           Food for Thought                    Breakfast donation and service Dec. 16 and 18
     --------     ----------------                    ------------------------------ --------------

     Toronto,
     ON           Daily Bread Food Bank               Kitchen and Sorting Support    Dec. 17
     --------     ---------------------               ---------------------------    -------

     Winnipeg,
     MB           Siloam Mission                      Kitchen Support                Dec. 18
     ---------    --------------                      ---------------                -------

     Port
     Perry,
     ON           Operation Scugog                    Family Food and Toy Drive      Dec. 18
     ------       ----------------                    -------------------------      -------

     Kitchener,
     ON           Lutherwood                          Fundraising                    Date to be confirmed
     ----------   ----------                          -----------                    --------------------

Quotes:Good Shepherd: "The Holiday Season is particularly stressful for many people in our community," said Cathy Wellwood, Chief Development Officer at Good Shepherd. "Support from organizations like Maple Leaf are so important to Good Shepherd's year-round efforts to help people emerge from the hardships of homelessness, poverty, domestic abuse and mental illness so they can re-establish healthy lives in our community."

Daily Bread Food Bank: "The holidays are a critical time for us to stock our shelves and continue to raise awareness about poverty in Toronto," said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, Daily Bread Food Bank. "It's important for all of us to remember that hunger doesn't end with the holidays and the need exists year round. We thank everyone for their continued support."

Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre: "The economic impact of poverty in Saskatchewan is calculated at $3.8b a year," said Laurie O'Connor, Executive Director, Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre. "Thank you to everyone who contributes to raising awareness about poverty and food insecurity and working together to find solutions."

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Video with caption: "Maple Leaf's 12 Days of Giving Campaign is raising awareness for the rising level of food insecurity in Canada.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MR4UH_hDtg

Image with caption: "Maple Leaf's 12 Days of Giving Campaign is raising awareness for the rising level of food insecurity in Canada. (CNW Group/Maple Leaf Foods Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141208_C4705_PHOTO_EN_9147.jpg

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2014/08/c4705.html

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Media Contact: Dave Bauer, Director, Public Affairs, 905-285-1510,
david.bauer@mapleleaf.com

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