4/21/2011 --- PepsiCo Foods Canada's Quaker brand has announced they will donate two million bowls of oatmeal this year to feed Canadians helped by Food Banks Canada.
This donation is a direct result of the success of the Unlock Amazing program, with program ambassador and Olympic Champion Alexandre Bilodeau. The program, which started in January 2011, asked Canadians to join the Quaker brand on Facebook and help Unlock Amazing by making a virtual breakfast bowl. If 25,000 virtual bowls were created online, the Quaker brand would double their already-planned 2011 Food Banks Canada donation of one million bowls of oatmeal, to two million bowls.
"The Quaker brand is happy to support Food Banks Canada and the services it provides through our unique Unlock Amazing program. We are extremely proud to make this announcement on behalf of the Quaker brand and commit to making a donation of two million bowls of oatmeal to Food Banks Canada locations across the country this year," said Kathryn Matheson, Vice President, Marketing Quaker Foods and PepsiCo Foods Innovation at PepsiCo Foods Canada.
"While our final tally of bowls made online was approximately 90 per cent of our goal, we consider our efforts to be a great success on many levels," Matheson continued. "It has provided us an opportunity to contribute to this important cause and has allowed our online consumers to engage in the program as well. The response from our Facebook friends to the program and to our partnership with Food Banks Canada has been absolutely incredible, and it confirms that reducing hunger is an important issue to solve for us all."
The Quaker brand has partnered with Food Banks Canada because it believes in the importance of a nutritious breakfast. The Unlock Amazing program was created to take that belief to new heights, by motivating Canadians to start their day with Quaker oatmeal, and at the same time, help those in need have access to a nutritious breakfast.
In fact, there is an increasing need for support of food banks in Canada. Food banks have been providing food and other assistance to more than 700,000 people each month for the better part of a decade and continue to be a critical emergency food source for Canadians in need. Over the last two years, food bank use in Canada has risen by 28 per cent, an unprecedented rate of growth. In March 2010, more than 860,000 people relied on the assistance of a food bank in order to have enough to eat - 38 per cent were children and youth.2 This is the highest level of food bank use on record.
Food Banks Canada Executive Director Katharine Schmidt applauds programs like Unlock Amazing, because people who rely on their services need nutritious breakfast choices like Quaker oatmeal, and programs like this go a long way to help meet the increased demand.
"Programs like the Quaker brand's Unlock Amazing initiative help us provide the much needed support required to address hunger in Canada," said Schmidt. "It engaged Canadians with this issue in a fun and meaningful way. We appreciate Quaker's ongoing commitment to Food Banks Canada and to helping provide nutritious breakfasts to Canadians in need."