TORONTO, March 28, 2023 – Today, Visa Foundation announced the launch of its Visa Foundation Gives program in Canada with a $250K USD donation to Feed Ontario, the province’s largest collective of hunger-relief organizations. The commitment will span two years and include volunteering at Feed Ontario network food banks. The grant will go toward Feed Ontario’s FeedON program, ensuring more than 1,200 food banks and hunger-relief organizations within the Feed Ontario network are stocked with fresh, healthy food they need to support their communities.
Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in Ontario. According to Feed Ontario, more than 587,000 people accessed emergency food support last year, visiting their local food bank more than 4.3 million times. This is an increase of 15% and 42% respectively over pre-pandemic numbers from 2019, and the sixth consecutive year that food bank use has risen. First time visitors have increased by 64% over pre-pandemic levels, with 1 in 3 visitors being those who had never turned to a food bank for assistance before.
The donation will be made through the Visa Foundation Gives initiative and will support in putting more than 663K meals on the tables of families across the province.
Launched in 2022, Visa Foundation Gives is a multi-year program dedicated to addressing local social issues in the communities where Visa Inc. has a significant office presence. Currently, the program is taking place in six cities around the world including: Toronto, Johannesburg, London, Miami, San Francisco, and Singapore.
“We are proud to introduce this important initiative in Canada and focus our support on issues that matter to our people and the communities where they live and work,” said Graham Macmillan, President, Visa Foundation. “We are dedicated to working with groups on the ground who are making a meaningful difference and providing aid so these vital local organizations can succeed.”
In addition to Visa Foundation Gives grant, Visa Canada employees will participate in a volunteer consulting project, dedicated to helping Feed Ontario solve significant organizational needs. The project will span eight weeks and conclude with an impact report.
“Food banks are a lifeline and help ensure people have the fundamentals they need to participate in their community. Hunger and food insecurity are issues our teams are passionate about and chose to devote this initiative to,” said Stacey Madge, President and Country Manager, Visa Canada. “Charitable organizations, like Feed Ontario also need hands on help with the work that occurs behind the scenes to keep the engine running. Through this initiative, we get to live our purpose by uplifting others.”
In 2021 to 2022, Feed Ontario distributed 8.1 million pounds of food through their FeedOn program.
“We cannot thank Visa Foundation enough for this incredible support,” said Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario. “At a time when more families than ever are facing hunger for the first time, Visa Foundation Gives is making a direct and positive impact in communities across Ontario.”
To learn more about Visa Foundation and Visa Foundation Gives, visit visafoundation.org.
For more information on Feed Ontario, visit https://feedontario.ca/.
About Visa Foundation
Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive. Through grantmaking and investing, the Foundation prioritizes the resilience and growth of micro and small businesses that benefit women. The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. Visa Foundation is registered in the U.S. as a 501(c)3 entity. For more information visit: visafoundation.org