Gay Lea Foods fundraises to leverage $2.4 million for co-operatives in Rwanda
TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - It's called Co-op Week at Gay Lea Foods and it carries a 12-year tradition. And by the time this year's event ended, the co-operative's 650 employees had raised over $78,000 for a group of small co-operatives in Rwanda.
For seven days at all Gay Lea locations, employees pay to participate and compete in a range of activities, from nail driving to pie tossing, waffle breakfasts to a silent auction, potlucks to Family Feud. They also earned BINGO cards when signing up for bi-weekly payroll deductions for the upcoming calendar year.
By the end of the week, they had raised over $78,000 towards their four-year, $200,000 commitment to the Co-operative Development Foundation to support agricultural co-operatives in Rwanda.
Matched 3:1 through CIDA, over the life of the project, funds raised will leverage $800,000 for UGAMA, the local Rwandan partner who will oversee the project.
But it doesn't stop there. The board of directors has added $400,000 over four years from the co-operative itself, which when matched by CIDA, will send an additional $1.6 million to the Rwandan project; some 22,000 families in rural areas will directly benefit from increased food security and crop production.
" Gay Lea is proud of its 12-year history working through CDF and the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) to support co-operatives in the international arena and at home in the Canadian Arctic," says Chair Mark Hamel .
Michael Barrett , COO of Gay Lea Foods and president of CDF adds, "We believe in the co-operative model; and, we are confident this model is key to strengthening communities in need and paving the way for a better future."
Rwanda, one of the world's poorest countries, continues to re-build after the political instability of the 1990s. Co-operatives, a government-supported model for socio - economic development in Rwanda, are working together to increase crop yields, and improve infrastructure and access to larger markets.
About Gay Lea Foods
Gay Lea Foods is an Ontario co-operative with 1,200 members and 650 employees. It is a leader in the dairy industry, with its head office in Mississauga and six production facilities across Ontario. Its brands, Gay Lea , Nordica and Ivanhoe, have a strong presence in the retail, foodservice and industrial ingredients sectors.
Since 1947, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) has raised funds in support of co-operative and credit union development programming to reduce global poverty, delivered in partnership with the CCA. They also rally volunteers to bring time-tested co-operative principles to developing countries.
CCA is a national association for co-operatives in Canada, representing more than nine million co-operative and credit union members from over 2,000 organizations. Individual co-op members are represented by CCA either directly through their co-operative, through their provincial co-op association or credit union central, or through sector organizations. CCA is itself a federally-incorporated co-operative, owned by its member organizations.
SOURCE Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited
Video with caption: "Employees at Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited kicked off Co-op Week to raise funds for co-operatives in Rwanda. Over its 12-year history, this week-long event has raised over $440,000 which when matched 3:1 by the Canadian International Development Agency, has sent close to $1.8 million to co-operatives on three continents.". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20121115_C8291_VIDEO_EN_20704.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20704.jpg&clientName=Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20Co%2Doperative%20Limited&caption=Employees%20at%20Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20Co%2Doperative%20Limited%20kicked%20off%20Co%2Dop%20Week%20to%20raise%20funds%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda%2E%20Over%20its%2012%2Dyear%20history%2C%20this%0D%0Aweek%2Dlong%20event%20has%20raised%20over%20%24440%2C000%20which%20when%20matched%203%3A1%20by%20the%0D%0ACanadian%20International%20Development%20Agency%2C%20has%20sent%20close%20to%20%241%2E8%20million%20to%20co%2Doperatives%20on%20three%20continents%2E&title=GAY%20LEA%20FOODS%20CO%2DOPERATIVE%20LIMITED%20%2D%20Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20fundraises%20to%20leverage%20%242%2E4%20million%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda&headline=Gay%20Lea%20Foods%20fundraises%20to%20leverage%20%242%2E4%20million%20for%20co%2Doperatives%20in%20Rwanda
Image with caption: " Andrea Boileau and Zbigniew Ewertowski enjoy a waffle breakfast, a fundraising staple across all Gay Lea sites. The waffle mix and toppings are donated for the event by a proud supporter. (CNW Group/Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20702.jpg
Image with caption: "COO Mike Barrett adds spirit and laughter at a live auction inside the Ivanhoe Cheese store in Madoc, Ontario. Customers who happen to pop in often join in the bidding and the fun while they shop. (CNW Group/Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121115_C8291_PHOTO_EN_20700.jpg
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