Our front-line teams connect with GTA families every day, often at some of the most difficult points of their lives. We see firsthand when our neighbours are struggling, and 2020 made that clearer than ever. “Food insecurity,” a term used to describe a family or individual’s inability to rely on where their next meals will come from, has become a critical challenge across our communities. That’s why this year we committed to giving back to fight this hidden crisis.
Each of our properties identified local food banks operating in their neighbourhoods, then donated a total of $270,000 to 36 organizations across the GTA. Many food banks had seen the need for their services double or even triple in 2020. One such example is the Weston Area Emergency Support food bank, which saw an average of 660 visits each month prior to the pandemic. By March of 2021, they were averaging more than 2,200.
As our staff delivered cheques to each location, they witnessed just how hard their neighbours are working to meet this in difficult circumstances. Restrictions to gathering reduced the number of volunteers available, while the need for safety precautions brought added expense. The result is a strain that can be felt in nearly every neighbourhood we work and live in. At the end of the day, we believe that neighbours don’t let neighbours go hungry. We were proud to contribute to such remarkable organizations in our community, and humbled by the dedication of their staff.