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June 10, 2004 - Recycling Program Will Help Regina and District Food Bank Purchase Milk for Children in Need


June 10, 2004

Recycling Program Will Help Regina and
District Food Bank Purchase Milk for Children in Need

Of the approximately 100 million inkjet cartridges used in Canada each year, only 5-10% are ever recycled. The rest are simply thrown away, adding unnecessary waste to Canadian landfills. Could these used cartridges - as well as the millions of out-of-service cell phones currently sitting in homes and offices across the country - be put to more constructive use? The Regina and District Food Bank thinks so.

Today, the Food Bank announced how the public can participate in an innovative program - one that will recycle inkjet cartridges and cell phones to help the environment and at the same time provide funding to purchase milk for less fortunate children in Regina and area.

Called thINK FOOD/Phones for Food, the program was begun in 2001 to provide a stable source of funding for the Toronto Food Bank. Since then, it has expanded throughout the country, with used printer cartridges and cell phones now providing funds for approximately 160 Canadian food banks.

The Regina and District Food Bank is now one of them. During a news conference at Ken Jenkins School in Regina, the Food Bank - together with partners Purolator Courier, the City of Regina, the Province of Saskatchewan and SaskEnergy - announced that members of the public can drop off used inkjet cartridges and cell phones at different Regina locations, including the Food Bank, City Hall and SaskEnergy's Regina Service Centre.

Purolator Courier will then ship the cartridges and cell phones free-of-charge to the thINK FOOD/Phones for Food offices in Toronto, where they will be sold to the recycling industry. The proceeds will be returned to the Food Bank in order to purchase milk for less fortunate children in the Regina area. Each recycled cartridge or cell phone will purchase up to six litres of milk for the Food Bank.

The recycling program will help provide much-needed nutritional assistance for some Regina-area children, according to Wayne Hellquist, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank.

"We have been unable to provide milk for children over five years of age simply because of limited supply and the cost of purchase," he said. "Funds generated through thINK FOOD/Phones for Food will provide milk to more children each week throughout the year. And just imagine - we will all be helping keep toxic waste from our landfill while providing nutritious food for children in need."

Minister of Community Resources and Employment Joanne Crofford agrees.

"Think Food/Phones for Food is a unique idea for raising funds and, at the same time, protecting the environment," she said. "On behalf of the Province, I want to congratulate the Regina Food Bank on their participation in this very worthwhile project and I want to thank all those sponsors and partners, both national and local, who are helping to make this project a success."

The City of Regina is also an enthusiastic supporter of the program.

"Recycling programs like thINK FOOD help to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the City's landfill each year. The more we recycle, the less waste we produce," said Deputy Mayor Jerry Flegel.

A list of locations where the public may donate their used inkjet cartridges and old cell phones is printed on a collection bag to be distributed with the June 27 edition of the Regina Sun. Members of the public may also find the nearest drop-off location by contacting the Regina and District Food Bank.

For further information, please contact:

Wayne Hellquist
Chief Executive Officer
Regina and District Food Bank
(306) 791-6539