OPG partnership helps First Nations in northwestern Ontario
Funds will provide food and storage
Thunder Bay, ON – Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is once again partnering with the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA) of Northwestern Ontario to provide COVID-19 food relief support to First Nation communities in the region.
OPG’s $200,000 donation will be used to help during this time of increased need. Cost and access to food in northern and remote First Nation communities is a challenge at the best of times and has been worsened by the COVID-19 crisis. RFDA has received increased requests for assistance since the pandemic began.
The OPG’s donation will provide:
- $150,000 for bulk food purchasing (perishable and non-perishable) and distribution to First Nation communities in the region.
- $50,000 to help the RFDA buy two electric insulated refrigerated containers for food storage.
The new refrigerated containers will save the RFDA as much as $25,000 each year in leased refrigerated space and other associated costs. It will also allow RFDA to replace an existing diesel refrigeration unit with these more environmentally friendly and efficient units. The annual savings will also allow the RFDA to buy and distribute more food to communities over the longer-term.
- This is the second year OPG has supported the RFDA’s food relief efforts.
- OPG’s 2020 COVID-19 food relief support allowed RFDA to provide 413,000 pounds of healthy food to Indigenous communities in the region.
- OPG has taken an active role in supporting communities since the start of the pandemic.
“OPG is mindful of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the increased demand for food relief by Ontario residents facing hunger and hardship,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “We are proud to partner once again with the RFDA. This donation will help provide food for the short to medium term, but also ensures savings, which can be re-invested by RFDA in much-needed food supplies over the longer term.”
“This is yet another example of OPG being a dedicated community partner while keeping the power on in our hospitals, care facilities, businesses and homes,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “From securing food donations for First Nations in the Northwest, to providing specialized protective gear and respirators for healthcare and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, the OPG team has gone above and beyond during the pandemic to help people and communities during their time of need.”
“I am deeply grateful for the work that OPG does not only as custodians of our energy infrastructure, but also as dedicated community leaders,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “OPG’s generous donation means that despite COVID-19, RFDA can continue with their mission of putting food on the tables of Ontario’s families.”
“The RFDA’s ability to serve northern First Nation communities is made possible thanks to valuable partners like OPG,” said Volker Kromm, RFDA’s Executive Director. “OPG supports our commitment to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic, to search for sustainable solutions to food insecurity, and to re-invest in environmentally friendly technologies. The future of community wellness begins with healthy individuals and families.”
As a global climate change leader and the largest, most diverse electricity generator in the province, OPG and its family of companies are helping lead the charge to a post-carbon economy.
About the Regional Food Distribution Association
The RFDA was formed in June 2003 to develop and implement a coordinated strategy for the delivery of donated food to community organizations who provide for those with food shortage. Its current membership includes a diverse collaboration of emergency food distribution, nutrition education, and hand-up agencies across Northwestern Ontario. To support their efforts, visit www.foodbanksnorthwest.ca