Wineries give boost to food banks

Thanks to Ontario wine drinkers, clients of Toronto food banks may well be better nourished.

Late last fall Wine Council of Ontario ran its “Buy Local, Share Local” campaign. It raised $50,000 for Ontario food banks.

Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank received a portion of the $10,000 share given to the GTA. Gail Nyberg, executive director of the Toronto facilities, said the donation will reach approximately 11,000 families in the GTA.

“We are thrilled to have this donation from Ontario’s wine industry,” Nyberg said. “The impact of this donation will be felt by about 75,000 food-bank users in the GTA.”

For each bottle of VQA wine, purchased at LCBOs last November and December, 25 cents was donated to the Ontario Association of Food Banks. Sherry Haigh from the Wine Council of Ontario is glad to help.

“It was a great opportunity to help people who really do need the support, and there is nothing more basic than food and making sure that people don’t go hungry,” she said.

Due to the food banks’ relationship with food industry donors, approximately $8 of food can be purchased with a $1 donation. According to Nyberg that means that instead of having enough for only one family, the food bank can feed two.

It was consumers’ choices during the drive that surprised Haigh. “While I was in LCBOs during the campaign, when I told customers about the ‘Buy Local, Share Local,’ they would put back their imported wine and choose something local in order to help,” she said.

Thanks to the success of the initiative, the Ontario winemakers and food banks hope to do it again next year.