BURLINGTON, Ont. — Ontario chicken farmers want consumers to know it’s ‘Chicken as Usual’ during COVID-19, regarding the commitment to producing safe, healthy, high quality, Ontario-grown chicken.
“We understand that many comforting behaviours and routines — particularly surrounding food — have changed for Ontarians in recent weeks. One thing that has not changed is the commitment of Ontario’s chicken farmers, who remain hard at work to ensure chicken production continues across the province,” says Ed Benjamins, chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “The dedication, diligence and hard work by farmers during this truly challenging time is outstanding.”
“We’re committed to monitoring and proactively responding to this evolving situation, ensuring that the levels of production are appropriate relative to demand. We continue to work closely with our industry stakeholders, along with all levels of government to ensure we’re aligned with public policy,” says Rob Dougans, president and CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, speaking to production planning during the pandemic.
On behalf of its farmer-members, Chicken Farmers of Ontario is donating $25,000 to long-time partner, Feed Ontario, to help aid in their Emergency Response program, which aims looks to provide pre-packaged emergency food boxes to food banks across the province. The donation will enable Feed Ontario to provide 17,500 meals and snacks, in addition to the ongoing donation of Ontario chicken, to 225,000 people.
“Our critical focus right now is making sure individuals who rely on food banks continue to have access to the food they need during this pandemic. This $25,000 donation will go a long way in our efforts to help ensure people have enough food to safely stay home,” says Carolyn Stewart, executive director of Feed Ontario.
The CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program, which provides fresh chicken to food banks across Ontario, has also made some temporary changes to make the program more flexible for food banks, expanding the program to include frozen, prepackaged and further processed Ontario chicken products.