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A GROWING IDEA

- Gardeners, Farmers Urged to Share a Taste of Home by Donating Produce to Local Food Programs -

A green thumb can be an asset in the garden… and a benefit to food banks and other meal programs in the community.

With fresh, locally-grown food readily available now, and more to be harvested in coming weeks, local gardeners and farmers are being encouraged to donate part of their produce to food-support programs in the area. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is making the appeal, especially given the ongoing need for donations of fresh food to meet rising demand.

“Many people in our community rely on food-support programs, so donating food from your garden or farm is a great way to ensure everyone enjoys a taste of home,” says Sharon Woodhouse, a Public Health Food Worker with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Local food is fresher because it does not have to be transported long distances, which also cuts down on the use of fossil fuels and benefits the environment.”

For farmers, there is added incentive to donating their agricultural products to a local food program. Ontario’s Food Donation Tax Credit for Farmers provides a tax credit equal to 25 per cent of the total value of the agricultural products that are donated. Agricultural products that may qualify for the tax credit include fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products, honey, maple syrup and more.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Patricia Stuckless, who is also a Public Health Food Worker with the HKPR District Health Unit. ““Farmers win by getting a tax credit for any surplus food they donate and organizations like food banks also benefit by receiving fresh, local food to share.”

People who want to donate locally-grown food have a variety of food banks and meal programs from which to choose in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. To find a local food program in their community, local residents can call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 or visit the ‘Adults/Food Security’ section of the Health Unit website.

For media inquiries, contact:

Sharon Woodhouse, Public Health Food Worker, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569,

or Patricia Stuckless, Public Health Food Worker, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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