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Maple Leaf Donates $50, 000 for Hamilton's Tastebuds Program

Partnership supports nutrition in 145 schools in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON, June 4, 2015 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods is very pleased to announce a $50,000 donation and partnership with Tastebuds, Hamilton's Student Nutrition Collaborative, to support the organization to meet its goal of Sprouting Healthy Relationships with Food.

"Good nutrition is essential to learning, academic and personal success," said Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Public Affairs. "Tastebuds is a high impact innovative program that makes good food available through schools and community centres throughout Hamilton. We are so proud to help Tastebuds nourish young minds by growing their program to include 145 schools and building on important social and learning connections through food."

"We are very excited about our relationship with Maple Leaf Foods and what it will allow us to achieve," said Deirdre Pike, Senior Social Planner at Hamilton's Social Planning and Research Council and Tastebuds. "With this support, we can accelerate programs that give kids access to nutritious food during the school day and build healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime."

Maple Leaf began its partnership with Tastebuds in 2014 through a pilot project, committing $25,000 that enabled 8 schools to purchase new fridges and subsidized food costs for more than 10 schools to purchase locally grown produce that was served with nutritious Maple Leaf products.

With Maple Leafs additional $50,000 investment, Tastebuds will grow their programs through 2015 and 2016, including hiring a part-time food and logistics coordinator to centralize the complex process of ordering food from many suppliers. It will also support a new, efficient food delivery model in partnership with Good Shepherd to ensure schools will be able to receive produce from local farmers and nutritious, protein-rich foods, like Maple Leaf Natural Selections® lunch meats and Protinis®. Maple Leaf's Chef, Andrea Nicholson and Tastebuds are also developing an education program that will empower students with food based education and skills training to help them build a better understanding of the opportunities that good nutrition and food literacy can bring to their career and personal lives. The program is scheduled to launch in 2016.

About Tastebuds
TASTEBUDS is a partnership of community agencies and community members that supports and facilitates local student nutrition programs for children and youth in Hamilton. In the 2013-14 school year, Tastebuds supported 162 different student nutrition programs in 110 locations across Hamilton, serving an average of 27,550 students each day. The program is powered by 1,204 volunteers, from educational assistants to members of the local school community.

About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian consumer protein company, making high quality, innovative products under national brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders Country Naturals® and Mina™. The Company employs approximately 12,000 people across Canada and exports to global markets, including the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.