The company expects to invest more than C$10 million over the next five years to support the center’s activities in addition to more than C$1.5 million annually in product donations.
“In a country of such wealth and abundance, it is a national shame that one out of every six children and four million people in Canada face food insecurity,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods and Honorary Chairman of the center. “The Centre is the culmination of several years of stakeholder engagement to understand this complex issue and where Maple Leaf should direct our resources — people, products and financial — to make the greatest difference. It reflects a significant, sustained commitment to lend our voice, to advocate for change, and to invest in innovation that results in demonstrable improvements.”
The center’s activities will focus on three areas — advocacy, innovation and learning. The center and Maple Leaf Foods will support, engage and advocate for policies that advance sustainable food security. An Innovation Fund will invest in innovative food security initiatives that can potentially be scaled to increase their impact. Finally, the center will share results from its work and support networks to increase understanding of the issues surrounding food security.
The center has launched a consumer social media campaign called “4,000,000 Canadians.” The campaign includes a short video that can be viewed on the center’s website and through Facebook.com/FeedOpportunity, Twitter.com/FeedOpportunity and YouTube.
“The Centre will support the extraordinary work of many Canadians who are bringing innovation, research and community engagement to advancing progress and social justice,” said Lynda Kuhn, senior vice president, sustainability and public affairs, Maple Leaf Foods and chairwoman of the centre. “We are passionate about breaking the silence and stigma associated with food insecurity, advancing sustainable solutions and advocating for important public policy changes.”