Man Pays For 60,000 Pounds Of PEI Potatoes To Be Sent To Montrealers In Need
January 13, 2022
A man bought and shipped 60,000 pounds of Prince Edward Island (PEI) Potatoes to a Canadian charity that feeds Montrealers in need.
Welcome Hall Mission
Mac Watson, who lives in Montreal and grew up in a farming community outside the city, has been a supporter of Montreal's Welcome Hall Mission for years. The charity helps provide food, safe housing, clothing, and healthcare to anyone that needs it.
Watson said when he heard about the US export ban on PEI potatoes, and the inventory that could go to waste as a result, he came up with a plan to purchase some directly from Prince Edward Island and ship them to Montreal.
Watson donated $15,000 worth of shares to the Welcome Hall Mission in order to cover the cost of buying 60,000 pounds of potatoes and having them shipped to Montreal.
"I just thought it was a win-win situation," Watson told the CBC. "The Welcome Hall gets the potatoes to feed the needy instead of the potatoes being destroyed."
"We don't like to see farmers not get compensated for the work they've done, and we certainly don't like to see food put in a landfill," said Sam Watts, CEO of Welcome Hall Mission.
The donated potatoes will be distributed to both the hot meal program, which serves 1,200 meals a day, and its free grocery stores — which are used by more than 2,500 people weekly.
Canada has halted exports of PEI potatoes to the United States over concerns about the potato wart fungus, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Monday.
The agency confirmed the fungus in high levels on two PEI farms last October, the first in 21 years in the province. Potato wart can decrease crop yields but poses no threat to human health or food safety, the CFIA said.
Canadian and U.S. officials are scheduled to meet this week to see if progress can be made to end the dispute.
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