Quaker to Donate Up to Two Million Bowls of Oatmeal to Help Feed Canadians In Need
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MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - PepsiCo Foods Canada's Quaker brand is on a mission to take its belief in the power of a nutritious breakfast to new heights this year, by motivating Canadians to start their day with Quaker oatmeal, and to help those in need to do the same. Today, the Quaker brand will unveil an exciting new initiative with Olympic Champion Alexandre Bilodeau called Unlock Amazing, which aspires to provide two million bowls of oatmeal1 this year to help feed the more than 860,000 Canadians helped by food banks each month2.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Quaker Canada and Bilodeau are asking Canadians to join them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/quakercanada where visitors can help Unlock Amazing by making a donation through creating a virtual breakfast bowl. If 25,000 consumers create a bowl, the Quaker brand will double their planned 2011 donation of one million bowls of oatmeal to two million bowls.
"The Quaker brand is very excited about this project, and to be working with Alexandre Bilodeau. Alexandre knows how important it is to start the day off right, and he knows a nutritious breakfast is key to unlocking his winning spirit to be a remarkable example for us all," says Kathryn Matheson, Vice President, Marketing Quaker Foods and PepsiCo Foods Innovation at PepsiCo Foods Canada. "The Quaker brand wants to help Canadians feel inspired by Alexandre to begin the day with a breakfast that can help them unlock their own amazing potential, and to do something simple and fun that will result in giving a wholesome breakfast to others in need."
Unlock Amazing for Food Banks Canada
Canadians can visit the Quaker brand Facebook page to create their own customized bowl of virtual oatmeal alongside Bilodeau at www.facebook.com/quakercanada. To participate, Canadians simply build a virtual bowl of oatmeal, and then add it to the Tower of Bowls. If the number of bowls made on Facebook increases to 25,000, the company will donate an additional one million bowls of oatmeal. Those who participate can also enter for a chance to win prizes to share with their amazing friends and family, including a chance to enjoy a ski vacation with Bilodeau.
"I feel privileged to be part of the Quaker brand's efforts to ensure breakfast is accessible to Canadians who are helped by food banks," says Bilodeau. "It's an amazing opportunity to inspire Canadians to create healthier lifestyle habits, and to help give a helping hand to those in need."
Helping To Reduce Hunger in Canada
There is an increasing need for support of food banks in Canada. 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 says 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.
"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," said Schmidt. This reality makes what the Quaker brand is doing even more relevant, because it's programs like this that go a long way to providing much needed support required to address hunger in Canada."
In addition to helping those in need, Bilodeau says he hopes to encourage the one in five Canadians who say they are too rushed, or that there is no time for breakfast3, to make the time to enjoy a nutritious bowl of Quaker oatmeal that can set the tone to the day.
"I've been eating Quaker oatmeal since I was a kid," says Bilodeau. "I believe that if you approach your morning the right way, it has a direct and positive impact on how your whole day plays out. For me, breakfast is really key to that."
Why Oatmeal Can Be An Amazing Start To The Day
When we think about Quaker oats, words like wholesome, nourishing and good for you come to mind, and for good reason. Not only do they taste great and fit easily into your everyday diet, but they can also do so much more. Oats are a good source of fibre, consisting of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Research supports the link between the consumption of oatmeal and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels. Health Canada recently confirmed the beneficial role oat fibre can play in reducing cholesterol, approving the claim 'oat fibre helps reduce cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease. 1 packet (33-46g) of Quaker Instant Oatmeal supplies 30 to 40 per cent of the daily amount of the fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol.' 4
Research Says Nutrition Is #1 At Breakfast
When deciding what to eat for breakfast, Canadians rank nutrition first, over taste and convenience, according to The NDP Group's study on national eating trends in Canada (for the 12 months ending March 2009):
A recent Ipsos Reid survey3 found:
About Food Banks Canada & PepsiCo Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our members and their respective agencies serve approximately 85 per cent of people accessing emergency food programs nation-wide. Our mission is to meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to hunger. Food Banks Canada delivers its food industry donations to its members through the National Food Sharing System, with donated transportation. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
PepsiCo Canada is a Food Banks Canada food partner and donates food and beverages products to select Affiliate Member food banks across the country for distribution to Canadians in need. In 2010, PepsiCo Canada donated nearly one million pounds of food to Food Banks Canada affiliated food banks.
About the Quaker brand in Canada
The Quaker brand provides the whole grain goodness of oats in a power-packed line of popular products from oatmeal to cereals and snack bars, including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quick Quaker Oats, Quaker Oatmeal Squares™ Cereal and Quaker Granola Bars. For more information, visit www.quakeroats.ca or the Quaker brand Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/quakercanada. Quaker is one of PepsiCo Canada's flagship brands.
About PepsiCo Canada
PepsiCo Canada is organized into two business units. PepsiCo Foods Canada includes the Frito Lay Canada and Quaker businesses. PepsiCo Beverages Canada includes the Pepsi, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.ca.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.