Employees of Farm Credit Canada will go national this year with their annual drive to collect food and donations for rural food banks.
The program, called Drive Away Hunger, expands this year from a collection of regional tour events to a drive to collect food and cash donations in every FCC field office across Canada.
The “Drive Away Hunger” tours, meanwhile, will visit communities in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba the week of Oct. 13, in tandem with World Food Day on Oct. 16. A tour will also visit Regina on Oct. 17, collecting donations on the way in support of the Regina and District Food Bank.
The federal farm and agribusiness lending agency’s goal for the 2008 program is to collect at least another 500,000 pounds of food during the tours, including 100,000 pounds each in Manitoba, Alberta and Nova Scotia and 40,000 pounds in Regina, on top of donations collected at field offices.
At the end of the 2008 tour, FCC plans to donate $25,000 to the Canadian Association of Food Banks to support the National Food Sharing System, which is meant to ensure “equitable” distribution of food among member food banks across the country.
The first Drive Away Hunger tour took place in Ontario in September 2004 when an FCC employee in Ontario drove an open-cab tractor and trailer through the Listowel area for eight days, collecting food and donations en route for local food banks.
Drive Away Hunger tours have since run through Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, P.E.I. and Quebec, raising a total of nearly one million pounds of food for local food banks.
Those looking for more information on how to donate to Drive Away Hunger can visit the program’s website or call toll-free 1-800-387-3232.