Viterra and the Regina Food Bank have partnered together for a new initiative aimed at providing locally grown protein to those in need.
The program, called “Viterra Farmers Feeding Families” will supply red lentils to food-insecure families in the Regina area.
Food Bank CEO John Bailey says the program will allow them to have better control of their food supply and feed more families.
“Allowing us to do this, A, allows us to make sure that the staples of our hampers are more nutritious and locally sourced, which is fantastic,” said Bailey. “It also means that we’re part of that supply chain instead of being, sort of, on the outside looking in, and just trying to purchase in times when everybody else is trying to get their hands on product as well.”
CEO of Viterra North America Kyle Jeworski says with Saskatchewan leading in pulse production, and the company’s long partnership with the Food Bank, this new project just made sense.
“We looked at this, along with our relationship with Saskatchewan farmers producing a very sustainable crop, and a nutritious crop, so the partnership was just natural,” said Jeworski. “We’ve got a large pulse processing plant in Belle Plain, Saskatchewan, just outside of Regina, that just creates a tremendous opportunity for us to provide a very nutritious product to those in need.”
Viterra’s donation of $225,000 will result in over 200,000 bags of lentils being handed out.
Bailey says this will allow the Food Bank to serve people lentils for a long time.
“Right now, at current demand, and knowing there’s some significant fluctuations, we’ll think we’ll get over a year, potentially as much as 18 months out of those 200,000 bags,” said Bailey. “So enough time for us to really refine what we’re doing and also make sure that we continue to build on “Viterra Farmers Feeding Families” to see if there are opportunities to expand the crop variety as well.”
“Viterra Farmers Feeding Families” is also receiving a $200,000 investment from the federal government.