Local woman receives award for organizing holiday turkey drives in Burlington, Oakville

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Published December 6, 2023 at 11:56 am

Burlington oakville food bank turkey

A Burlington woman is one of just eight recipients of a new national award for helping fight food insecurity.

Melissa Bain has won a Wishbone Award for being a tireless crusader for food security in the Burlington and Oakville communities by spearheading the annual holiday frozen turkey drive at local Fortinos stores, ensuring community members in need get the holiday dinner they deserve.

“From hand-delivering hundreds of turkeys to dedicating their holidays to hosting a community dinner, these eight selfless heroes go above and beyond each year to spread holiday cheer in their communities,” said Darren Ference, Chair, Turkey Farmers of Canada.

“We were incredibly moved by the Wishbone Award recipients’ stories and are honoured to contribute to their holiday initiatives at a time when Canadians need it most.”

Launched in response to record-high food insecurity in Canada, the Wishbone Awards recognize the amazing people across the country who go above and beyond during the holiday season to make sure everyone has a turkey on the table.

The Wishbone Award recipients will receive a $2,500 grant to help fund their community efforts and inspire holiday spirit throughout Canada.

Bain works for Food for Life, a Burlington-based food rescue organization and spearheads the annual holiday frozen turkey drive at local Fortinos stores, ensuring people in need get the holiday dinner they deserve.

Due to her efforts, the program has expanded to all Fortinos locations and has been successfully running for the past six years, with turkeys being sent out to families for their holiday dinner in the Greater Toronto, Hamilton and Brampton communities.

Nominations were open nationally from Nov. 2 to 15, inviting Canadians to share the story of a community hero who embodies the holiday spirit and is dedicated to fighting food insecurity.

“We hope the stories of these outstanding individuals inspire even more Canadians to pull together to make people’s holiday wishes come true,” said Mark Hubert, president and CEO, Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors.

The Wishbone Awards are part of The Wishbone Project, a charitable initiative launched in 2020 by Canada’s turkey farmers and processors to give back to communities across Canada through foods and funds.

Since its launch, The Wishbone Project has raised more than $240,000, empowering local non-profits, charities, and community heroes to combat food insecurity.

In addition to the $20,000 in Wishbone grants awarded to recipients, Think Turkey will be donating $10,000 to Food Banks Canada.

For more information on the Wishbone Awards and to read the stories of all eight 2023 recipients, visit here.

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