KITCHENER, ON--(Marketwired - October 28, 2016) - The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is pleased to announce Chicken Farmers of Ontario as the recipient of the 2016 Paul Mistele Memorial Award for its creation of the CFO Cares Food Bank Donation Program. This program alone has provided more than 175,000 kilos of chicken to Ontarians in need since March 2015.

Named for the late farm leader who founded Ontario Pork's Donate-A-Hog program in 1998, the Paul Mistele Memorial Award recognizes agricultural partners who have shown a significant and enduring commitment to ending hunger in Ontario. The award was presented to Chicken Farmers of Ontario on October 27th, 2016 at Farm & Food Care Canada's annual Harvest Gala.

"There are no words to express our gratitude for the Chicken Farmers of Ontario and its creation of the CFO Cares Food Bank Donation Program," says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of the OAFB. "This program has dramatically increased the amount of fresh food available to the people we serve, and has made a direct and positive impact in over 85 communities province-wide."

Protein is essential to a healthy diet and is consistently listed as the most needed item by Ontario's food banks. The creation of the CFO Cares Food Bank Donation Program provides food banks with fresh chicken on an ongoing basis, making a direct impact in the overall health of the families they serve and the communities in which they reside. Since spring 2015, nearly 300 chicken farmers have registered for the program, and have collectively provided over 175,000 kilos of chicken to families living with hunger across the province.

"Chicken Farmers of Ontario is very pleased to be working in partnership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks to ensure that Ontarians in need have access to a regular supply of healthy, locally grown chicken," said Henry Zantingh. "Farmers care about their communities and the success of this program indicates the importance they place on being able to donate the food that they grow on their farms to their local community food banks."

Past recipients of the Paul Mistele Memorial Award include the Ontario Dairy Council, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and Ontario Milk Transport Association (2009); Nature Fresh Farms in Leamington (2010); Turkey Farmers of Ontario (2011); Whittamore's Farm (2012); Ontario Pork, Zoetis, Shur-Gain, Elanco, Mable Honor Farm - The Fraser Family (2013), Egg Farmers of Ontario (2014), and Beef Farmers of Ontario (2015).

The Ontario Harvest Gala, attended by 300 farmers and agricultural industry supporters, is organized annually by Farm & Food Care Canada. Farm & Food Care Canada develops and supports programs to communicate with Canadians, thus helping to build confidence and trust in food and farming.

About the OAFB

The Ontario Association of Food Banks is the province's leading provider of emergency food support to frontline hunger-relief agencies and the leader in province-wide hunger research. Our mission is to strengthen communities by providing food banks with food, resources, and solutions that address both short and long-term food insecurity.

Every month, the OAFB food bank network provides food and support to more than 360,000 adults, seniors and children facing hunger. Through 125 direct member food banks, and over 1,100 affiliates, inclusive of breakfast clubs, school meal programs, community food centres, and emergency shelters, the OAFB provides over eight million pounds of fresh and non-perishable food to those who need it most. For every $1 donated the OAFB can provide three meals to someone in need.

The OAFB is not government-funded and relies exclusively on the generosity of caring individuals and organizations to support and achieve its vision of a hunger-free Ontario. To learn more, please visit:

About Chicken Farmers of Ontario

Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) provides responsible, accountable supply management leadership to an evolving and growing chicken industry in Ontario. Ontario is home to the largest chicken industry value chain in Canada and supports the largest and most diverse consumer base in the country. CFO represents more than 1,200 successful, independent Ontario chicken family farmers who collectively raise more than 200 million chickens every year for domestic and international markets. For more information visit

Contact Information:

Contact Information

Amanda King
Director of Member & Communications
Ontario Association of Food Banks
416-656-4100 x2932

Michael Edmonds
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Chicken Farmers of Ontario