In a year where more people than ever are struggling to make ends meet, City of Ottawa staff and community members came together to make the 36th annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive a success. A total of 126,427 pounds of food and $24,000 was collected for the Ottawa Food Bank. These donations will help restock the shelves for the upcoming holiday season.
The food drive was held on Saturday, December 19. As in past years, OC Transpo buses and volunteers were located outside participating Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer and No Frills locations in Ottawa to remind customers about the food drive. This year contact was reduced to help everyone keep a safe distance. All the food items collected were delivered directly to the Ottawa Food Bank, FAMSAC Food Cupboard, Stittsville Food Bank, and the Kanata Food Cupboard.
City employees also contributed to the total amount collected by generously donating through an internal virtual campaign, which ran from November 23 to December 18.
Every day, the Ottawa Food Bank’s Michael Street warehouse distributes 12 to 14 tons of food. This provides 112 member agencies with supplies to help provide for tens of thousands of people each month.
The OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive is a joint effort between OC Transpo, the City of Ottawa, local Loblaw banner stores, and the Ottawa Food Bank.
“This year has been extremely challenging for so many Ottawa residents. Struggling to put food on the table for the holiday season shouldn’t be something they have to worry about. I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to the many volunteers who came out to help their neighbours who find themselves in a less fortunate situation. OC Transpo and City of Ottawa employees have upheld the spirit of the season by once again lending their support to the 36th annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive. I would also like to commend our partners at Loblaw Companies Limited and the Ottawa Food Bank, and the kind donors whose contributions make this food drive a great success, year after year.”
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
“OC Transpo employees provide an essential service to our residents. Organizing and running the food drive is just one more way that they and their family members support the community. Since the Ottawa Food Bank came into existence in 1984, staff at OC Transpo were there, and have upheld this tradition year after year. They always come out to make this annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive a success. It is thanks to their efforts that this the longest running and most successful food drive in Ottawa.”
Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair, Transit Commission
“The Loblaw family of stores looks forward to the OC Transpo/Loblaws Christmas Food Drive every year. 2020 has been an unprecedented year that has brought great challenge to many and food insecurity to a new level. It is with extreme pride that we could be part of this food drive again and help our community in this time of need. We want to thank our partners at OC Transpo and the Ottawa Food Bank for allowing us to be part of this fantastic community event. We especially would like to thank all the volunteers that worked so hard to make this event so successful and of course our community, which always responds in the most giving way. We’re already looking forward to next year’s 37th annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive.”
Jeff Brierley, Store Manager, College Square Market, Loblaw Companies Limited
“We are so grateful to OC Transpo, the City of Ottawa, and Loblaw banner stores across the city for their leadership and commitment to this community. Their teams adapted to the changing environment and pulled off an incredibly successful food drive. The generosity of our community means so much to us and the network of food banks with whom we partner across the city. It also means there will be food on tables right across this city, in time for the holidays and into the new year. You have shown neighbours in Ottawa that you care. Thank you!”
Rachael Wilson, Interim CEO, Ottawa Food Bank
- The OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive is Ottawa's largest annual single-day grocery store food drive.
- It fills a need when many families are struggling to make ends meet and helps ensure there is enough to eat during a time of year when demand is at its highest.
- To date, this food drive has raised over three million pounds of food and thousands of dollars for Ottawa's most vulnerable residents.
- OC Transpo is proud to have been associated with the Ottawa Food Bank since its first year of existence. OC Transpo's first Food Drive was in 1984, the same year the Ottawa Food Bank was founded. It is the longest running and most successful food drive in Ottawa.
- Every day, 12 to 14 tons of food leaves the Ottawa Food Bank's Michael Street warehouse. The Ottawa Food Bank provides 112 member agencies with supplies to feed tens of thousands of people each month, and 37 per cent of them are children.
- The Food Drive collects for four local food banks: the Ottawa Food Bank, FAMSAC Food Cupboard located in Nepean, the Stittsville Food Bank and the Kanata Food Cupboard.
About Ottawa Food Bank
The Ottawa Food Bank is the main emergency food provider in the National Capital Region. Through a network of 112 community food programs, the Ottawa Food Bank provides food for tens of thousands of people per month – 37 per cent of whom are children. With a focus on fresh, and thanks to the community’s support, on average 12 to 14 tons of food is distributed from their Michael Street warehouse every weekday. For more information regarding the Ottawa Food Bank and how you can help provide healthy, accessible, sustainable food for all, please visit www.ottawafoodbank.ca