By: Angie Lang, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator
As the year quickly comes to an end, we look back at all the amazing things that have happened in 2017 here at EFA. It’s been a wonderful year full of events and our farmers getting out into the community and showing their passion for egg farming.
A couple of highlights from our year was attending the Calgary Stampede, Amazing Ag in Edmonton and our Save-On Foods appearances that we launched for the first time this year. Two other great partnerships took place with Breakfast Club of Canada and Food Banks Alberta Food Banks.
We are so lucky to be able to work with two organizations that do so much for the community by giving back and helping close the gap between Albertans and food insecurity. Since 2015, we have worked with Breakfast Club of Canada (BCC) as part of our social responsibility initiatives. Every year we donate over 3,000 dozen eggs helping enable schools that are part of BCC, to serve hot breakfast options and allow kids to go to class with a full tummy.
We also include a monetary donation that has allowed BCC to cover the annual cost to run 3 additional programs in Alberta schools. This year we had the pleasure of being invited to G.W. Skene Elementary School, where we helped prepare eggs for the BCC morning meal. The students loved having fresh eggs prepared for them to go along with their toast and cereal.
Another amazing organization that helps with food insecurity is Food Banks Alberta. EFA is proud to have a partnership and the ability to donate a monetary amount that allows local food banks in the province to be stocked with fresh eggs during the year.
Beatrice Visser, Egg Farmers of Alberta Board Director was joined by Food Banks Alberta Executive Director, Stephanie Walsh-Rigby to present a cheque at the Airdrie Food Bank. We were met with a warm smile and open arms by the Executive Director of the Airdire Food Bank, Lori MicRitchie, and taken on a very in-depth tour of their impressive facility.
Last year alone, the Airdire Food Bank provided 1572 hampers to 7387 people. Unfortunately, of that number 45 per cent were children.
Lori says individuals and families have truly benefited from the partnership with Egg Farmers of Alberta and the provincial association Food Banks Alberta. “We have not had to purchase eggs in two years due to the generosity of these partners. Each hamper that is given contains eggs for that family. This healthy addition helps us reach our goal of providing fresh nutritious food to those we serve,” said Lori.
On average, 27 food banks in Alberta are able to share fresh eggs with their clients each month and “it has allowed food banks to provide an additional fresh healthy protein item in all of their hampers,” said Stephanie.
Both Stephanie and Lori both agree that eggs are a great source of protein and clients would truly miss it if they weren’t able to provide them in hampers each month. “This program has allowed many food banks to provide an additional fresh healthy protein item in all of their hampers,” said Stephanie.
It is our goal at EFA to continue these partnerships in the many years to come to help add high quality protein into the hands of those less fortunate.
The Airdrie Food Bank also has a special mandate of bringing their community together to support each other. Not only do they provide emergency food, but they also work to connect those they serve to each other and to the community in meaningful ways. They do an amazing job at providing opportunities for learning and connecting those to their community kitchen, including monthly cooking demos for anyone in the community to participate in.
“Thank you [Airdrie Food Bank] for showing us and explaining to us how your system works,” said Beatrice. “It was also very encouraging to understand that you are not only looking out for [your clients] ‘food’ needs but also their emotional needs and taking the time to teach useful skills.”