​​​​​The McCain Foundation History


McCain Foods Limited and the McCain families have a long history of charitable giving dating back to and before 1957 when the company opened its first French fry plant in the small village of Florenceville, New Brunswick.   In March, 1993, The McCain Foundation was set up to better focus on our donations and to enhance the impact of our giving on local communities.

From the beginning, our goal was to help improve the lives of people in the communities where McCain employees live and work.   So for the last 20 years, The McCain Foundation has focused our giving in Atlantic Canada and in the rural communities across the country where McCain Foods has manufacturing facilities.   While we have always considered donation requests for any worthy cause, since our early days we have focused on the following five key areas that we believe can have the greatest impact on the quality of life for most Canadians--Arts & Culture, Community/Civic Projects, Health & Welfare, Education and the Environment.

The governance structure of The McCain Foundation is simple.  Our Board of Directors is made up of one member from each of the four founding families of McCain Foods as well as one company representative.  Kathryn McCain stepped down in March, 2013, after twenty years as Chair of The Foundation.  Her sister, Linda McCain, has joined Jennifer McCain, Karin Apold and Heather Sutherland on the board. The McCain Foods representative on the board is Michael Campbell.
In 2012 and 2013, the Foundation engaged in an extensive renewal project among other things, the Foundation’s commitment to continuing its traditional giving and to expand it giving to include changing focus areas.


The Renewal Project

The McCain Foundation  was established in 1993 and was and is solely funded by McCain Foods Limited. In 2011, the Foundation embarked on an effort to renew itself. The effort was led by the directors of the Foundation. The McGowan Group Inc. and Luanna McGowan were retained to assist with the effort. The directors and the McGowan Group worked through 2011 and 2012 reporting periodically to McCain Foods Group Inc. , the parent company of McCain Foods and the sole member of the Foundation.

 The renewal efforts culminated in a report to Foods Group and its shareholders in the fall of 2012. The new vision/mission statement of the Foundation captures the spirit of the renewal:
“The McCain Foundation aspires to be a vibrant philanthropic  leader, finding innovative ways to empower people to create positive change for the benefit of McCain communities in Canada, with an emphasis on the Atlantic region. The Foundation will undertake focused efforts to address fundamental challenges in these communities; and will continue its tradition of supporting large and small projects of a general nature.”

The major result of the renewal was a decision to continue the traditional giving pattern established by the Foundation since its inception and increase the resources allocated to such giving. In addition, the Foundation was mandated to identify an area or areas of focused or strategic giving and to prepare and present a plan for such giving to the directors of Foods Group. Upon approval of a plan, further resources will be made available to the Foundation to implement the plan.

The renewal effort also included improvements in governance, policy development, grant process and communications including the development of an appropriate website.




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