October 9, 2009
Media Release

Reminder to participate in Thanksgiving food drive

Final push to ask residents to bring non-perishable food items to collection sites
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York, in partnership with the York Region District School Board, the York Catholic District School Board and York Region’s nine local food banks, are encouraging residents to give generously to the 2009 York Region Thanksgiving Food Drive.
“Food banks work very hard to assist people in meeting their basic nutrition needs,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “The depletion of supplies in our food banks means we all have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who need essential assistance right here in our own communities.”
Residents are reminded to bring their donations of canned and dry goods to local food banks before the Thanksgiving Food Drive wraps up on October 16th.
“Given the current economic climate and knowing that food bank use has increased, it is extremely important to bring forward this initiative,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio.  “This is a personal appeal to all the citizens of York Region to open hearts, wallets and cupboards and make sure that the shelves of all the nine local Food Banks are stocked with enough food to feed every needy person in the Region not just during this Thanksgiving Food Drive Campaign ... but for every day of the year!”
There are nine local food banks in York Region.  (See attached list of York Region Community Food Banks.)  Please contribute to the food bank in your community and share this list with others who may be interested.
Each month, more than 5,000 York Region residents use local food banks, and 40 per cent of these people are children.
"It is difficult for anyone to learn when hungry, particularly a child," said Susan LaRosa, Director of Education for the York Catholic District School Board.  "As in the past, we are confident our school communities will rise to the occasion and support the Thanksgiving Food Drive in any way they can."
As active partners in this year’s campaign, both school boards are encouraging school food drives, offering community hours to students who volunteer at local food banks and communicating with parents about the importance of food bank contributions.
“As educators, we see the direct impact nutrition has on student learning,” said Bill Hogarth, Director of Education for the York Region District School Board.  “Proper and adequate nutrition enables students to increase and maintain their energy levels and their cognitive abilities; therefore maximizing their learning opportunities and educational experiences.”
During this drive, York Region Emergency Medical Services paramedics are helping with food collection and transportation.  York Region will also provide temporary storage of food collected, if needed. 
York Region employees are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items.  Food bins will be located in the Regional Administrative Centre and five York Region buildings:  520 Cane Parkway, The Tannery, 62 Bayview Parkway and 90 Bales Drive in Newmarket and the South Services Centre in Richmond Hill.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / Cell: 905 715-9753
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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