Food Banks Canada thanks Canadians who responded to its ‘I Ate’ campaign

Who: Food Banks Canada, with The Local Collective for strategy and creative, Taylor Reid for Production, Grayson for sound, and Married to Giants for editing. Media by Skylar Media Group.

What: “I Ate Thank You,” a follow-up to the “I Ate” fundraising campaign that launched during the pandemic.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running across TV, online video, digital, print and out-of-home. Media inventory was donated by Corus (broadcast), Outfront (out-of-home), Google Ad Network and the social media platforms.

Why: The campaign is a thank you to Canadians who helped Food Banks Canada reach its goal of raising $150 million to help more than 4,700 organizations across the country feed citizens in their community.

Food Bank Canada’s chief communications officer Caroline Newton said that there was a “near-immediate” increase in food bank visits at the beginning of the pandemic.

“We knew we had to respond, and we did. Now, two years later, because of the incredible generosity and care of people all across Canada, more families than ever were able to access the food they needed during these difficult times,” she said.

“We have been blown away by the support, and we wanted to show our appreciation for everyone who came together to help us and our food banks network reach this milestone goal.”

But while Food Banks Canada met its fundraising goal, it said in its recent HungerCount 2021 Report that it is “fearful” about what’s ahead. More than half of Canadians are less than a paycheque away from “dire financial circumstances” that could force them to use a food bank.

How: As with the previous “I Ate” campaign, the creative is anchored by brightly coloured billboards, but where the previous campaign featured words like “Donate,” this iteration features words like “Grateful,” “Appreciate” and “Fortunate.” The faces of people who benefited from the donations are highlighted to spell out the words “I Ate.”

The Local Collective also created a 30-second video showing people in a variety of settings sitting down to a meal, from a woman feeding a baby, to a young man eating a sandwich in front of a computer, to an older couple enjoying a meal together. The video is also running as a pair of 15-second cutdowns.

And we quote: “As a country, we have been in this fight together—that’s why there was such success with the first ‘I Ate’ campaign. Taking a moment to show appreciation, to give gratitude for what Food Banks Canada has been able to accomplish, felt important. The fact that more people than ever have been able to say ‘I Ate’ is a powerful thing.” — Matt Litzinger, president and chief creative officer, The Local Collective


Chris Powell