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Photo courtesy of Ottawa Food Bank.

Foodie Friday: 33rd annual Christmas Food Drive aims to fill buses – and the Ottawa Food Bank

By Hannah Manning on December 1, 2017

Don’t be surprised if you see some OC Transpo buses parked outside your local grocery store this weekend.

The City of Ottawa, with the Loblaws company, will be collecting food and cash donations for the Ottawa Food Bank for the 33rd annual Christmas Food Drive. This is the Ottawa Food Bank’s largest single-day food drive of the year. It helps fills a need when many families are struggling to make ends meet and helps to ensure there is enough to eat during a time of year when demand is at its highest.

Each year, the Ottawa Food Bank helps people in Ottawa when they need it most: according to the Ottawa Hunger Report 2016, there are 41,540 food bank users per month.

The Ottawa Food Bank collects and distributes food to community food programs, who then provide it to those in need. About 14 tons of food are distributed each day, and there are 112 Emergency Food Programs supplied by the Ottawa Food Bank.

Here are more of the impacts of hunger in Ottawa:

  • 36% of Ottawa Food Bank clients are children
  • 45% of Ottawa Food Bank users are families with children. Nearly half of those are two-parent families
  • 112 local agencies help feed 41,540 people each month

OC Transpo will be parking buses outside participating Loblaws, Superstores, No Frills, and Your Independent Grocers locations across Ottawa with the goal of packing them full of food. Check out the list of participating locations and stop by between 9am-6pm. In addition to non-perishable food donations, they will be accepting cash donations. For every dollar you give, the Ottawa Food Bank can purchase about $5 worth of food because of their wholesale purchasing power. Can’t make it in person? You can donate online.

For information about how to access the services provided by the Ottawa Food Bank, visit their website. If you are looking to see if there are Christmas Hampers or a Christmas program still serving in your area, please call 211.

For more ways to get involved, visit the Ottawa Food Bank’s volunteer page.