UR News

Reducing Hunger in Simcoe County

Kathy Cox

By Kathy Cox

Maple Leaf Harvest, a new Ontario not-for-profit, is taking up the challenge to end hunger in Ontario by focusing on the issue of inequality in food distribution. Started this year, the organization, with the help of the latest technology and advanced logistic methods, will retrieve food that regularly goes to waste at various food organizations, and deliver it to the tables of local soup kitchens and shelters, to feed those in need. The organization will start operations in Simcoe County in 2015.

In support of its goal, Maple Leaf Harvest has launched a New Year’s Challenge on the crowdfunding portal Indiegogo to raise its start-up funding. The organization aims to deliver at least 50,000 pounds of food monthly. The campaign runs until December 31, 2014.

“It is estimated that over 40% of available food goes to waste” said Helen verDuin Palit, Maple Leaf Harvest’s founder and President. “Over 800,000 Canadians are accessing food banks monthly, with more than one-third being children. No one can deny that the current need is overwhelming.”

Helen verDuin Palit has a long history of distributing surplus food to those that would otherwise go hungry. In 1981, in New Haven Connecticut, she created a perishable food distribution system, which allowed food companies to donate their unused food to local shelters and food kitchens. By 1989, sixteen programs across the United States and Canada were using her harvest methodology. In recognition of her vision, work and commitment, President Bush nominated her as the Fourth Point of Light in his Thousand Points of Light call to action. Since then, her program has been implemented in over 1300 cities and towns.

“The goal of reducing hunger is very achievable” said verDuin Palit. “We just need the will to do it. Support our campaign this holiday season by donating today. The food is available. The people are in need. Maple Leaf Harvest definitely has a solution.”

Kacper Nowacki
Director of Development and Administration
Maple Leaf Harvest
647 469 9075

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