PETERBOROUGH – June 22, 2022 – When Lindsay-area hog farmer Todd Malcolm learned that local food banks needed help, he didn’t hesitate to offer support from the local pork producers’ association, where he serves as president.
A deadly storm and series of tornados caused massive damage to parts of central and eastern Ontario on May 21, 2022. Storm damage, including power outages that lasted for days, meant that food banks in the area were forced to throw out almost all refrigerated and frozen foods.
“The storm that hit Ontario May 21st left the majority of Peterborough residents and businesses without power for many days,” said Ashlee Aitken, general manager of Kawartha Food Share. “As a result, nearly all of our food banks, meal programs, housing shelters and clients accessing emergency food were forced to empty their fridge and freezers.”
Dave Smith, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha shared that need with contacts in the farming and food sectors.
Ontario Pork contacted Malcolm, and the local pork association agreed to donate $2,500 towards a donation of fresh pork. That was matched with $2,500 from Ontario Pork, and topped up with support from Conestoga Meats, a farmer-owned cooperative processing plant in the Waterloo Region.
Almost 1,500 kg (3,200 lbs) of Ontario-grown pork tenderloin was delivered to Kawartha Food Share on June 20, 2022, for distribution to the organization’s member agencies.
“We are so appreciative of the Ontario Pork for quickly jumping to action and generously donating pork tenderloin to help replenish supply at our food banks!” Aitken said “Our clients were so thrilled to receive this special donation.”
MPP Smith welcomed the donation. “In the aftermath of a devastating storm that forced food banks across our community to throw out stores of produce and meat, local farmers stepped up – despite damage to their own farms,” said Smith. “Their generosity shows us once again that our hardworking farmers are responsible and devoted members of our community. I cannot thank them enough.”
The donation came even as farmers in the Peterborough-Kawartha area were dealing with storm impacts to their own homes and businesses. Malcom’s family farms in the Kawartha Lakes region weren’t spared by the May 21 storm. While people and animals were safe, several buildings were heavily damaged and farm operations had to rely on generators for several days. Despite this, Malcolm and his fellow farmers stepped up to meet the need in their community.
“Food bank support is needed more than ever, people need access to healthy and delicious food as the basics become more costly,” Malcolm said. “We hope this this helps out some local people.”
Ontario Pork and its farmer members believe in providing high-quality, nutritious protein to families and individuals across the province. Each year, the organization contributes $40,000 to the Feed Ontario network of food banks, with local associations and industry partners contributing at the local level.
About Ontario Pork
Ontario Pork represents the 1,064 farmers who market 5.9 million hogs in the province. The organization is engaged in many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance. Ontario’s pork industry generates $2.8 billion in economic output and 15,843 in full-time equivalent jobs. For more information, visit Ontario Pork’s website at www.ontariopork.on.ca.
(Pictured: Dave Smith, the Member of Provincial Parliament-elect for Peterborough-Kawartha)