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Maple Leaf Foods to help “Nourish” Wellspring Members

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — TSX: MFI

Maple Leaf Foods today announced its sponsorship of the kitchen learning centre at the Toronto Wellspring facility, part of the cancer support centre’s new $5 million expansion program.

The state-of-the-art kitchen, which will serve as a social hub and learning centre, will be called the Maple Leaf Foods Nourishment Centre, “Nourish!” for short. Nourish! will also be the site of a brand new series of educational programs on food for people coping with cancer, including programs on foods that fight cancer, food safety for people undergoing cancer treatments who are more susceptible to risks, and related food preparation.

“We believe Wellspring does amazing work for people with cancer and when offered the opportunity to be part of their community, we jumped on it. Food is the nourishment of life and it plays an important role in the life of someone facing cancer. We hope “Nourish!” will be a place where people find great learning and great eating experiences,” said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. He made the announcement at the official community launch of the Wellspring Sunnybrook Expansion campaign.

“The tiny kitchen at our existing Wellspring facility has traditionally been the heart of the centre with a constant flow of chatter, support and baked goods,” said Lynda Morrison, Wellspring’s Chief Executive Officer. “Now we will have a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen where our members will have the opportunity to experience programs that will stimulate their appetites and their minds.”

Wellspring at Sunnybrook provides cancer support programs to more than 2,300 people and the centre is at capacity. The expansion will allow for the centre to triple its size and programming. It is slated to open mid-2010.

About Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2008.

About Wellspring

Wellspring is a network of community-based centres that provide a wide range of programs and services to individuals and families living with cancer, free of charge and without medical referral. Founded in downtown Toronto in 1992, Wellspring has expanded into a network of seven centres and seven satellite locations across Ontario and Alberta. Three new centres are in development in Halifax, Edmonton and Ottawa.

Wellspring programs provide people with a variety of unique mechanisms for coping with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and its impact on patients, family members (including children) and professional caregivers. In addition to one-to-one peer support, each centre offers support groups and coping skills programs that aid in stress management. Short-term counselling, bereavement support and educational workshops on specific topics of interest to members are also provided on a regular basis. All programs are offered in a welcoming and home-like environment, and confidentiality is assured.

Wellspring receives no core or government funding and charges no fees, and therefore relies on donations, events and volunteer support in order to operate.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

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