Although the Canadian food community has been among the hardest-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also been responsible for some of the most impactful contributions toward supporting the individuals and organizations working on the frontlines.
Over the past few weeks, restaurants, grocers, and hospitality groups across the country have come together in solidarity to offer frontline workers an array of discounts and special promotions, but some have taken an extra step to create initiatives and programs designed to ensure those workers have regular access to safe and healthy meals.
Additionally, larger organizations such as Sysco and Save-On-Foods have begun to leverage their abundant resources to reinforce the work being done by charitable endeavours like Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, and Breakfast Club of Canada.
In a climate that continues to present a great deal of uncertainty, it's comforting to know that we can always count on the dependable determination of the Canadian food community. Here are some of the ways Canadian food businesses are giving back.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fairmont Pacific Rim just launched the Feed It Forward initiative at Giovane Café as part of its new take-out program. For every dish ordered, one dish will be donated to frontline workers. Patrons can also opt to purchase a meal donation for a healthcare worker available through the café’s Ritual platform for $5 each. Each week, Fairmont Pacific Rim will deliver the collective donations by way of a healthy and nutritious meal to healthcare workers working to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Giovane Café is also offering complimentary hot and specialty coffee beverages for all front line healthcare workers through May 31, 2020.
Glowbal Restaurant Group
The Vancouver-based hospitality group, whose brands include Glowbal, Coast, Italian Kitchen, and Five Sails, have launched a weekly charitable meal delivery program. The program will see chefs from Glowbal prepare 200 gourmet meals to be delivered to a rotating panel of Vancouver charities, beginning with Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon.
Non-profit organizations and community groups that are interested in partnering with Glowbal Restaurant Group for a meal delivery in the Vancouver area are encouraged to contact public relations representatives Michelle Lan and Tara Armstrong.
Paramount Fine Foods
Paramount Fine Foods is donating nearly 2,000 meals to food banks and shelters across the Greater Toronto Area to support vulnerable and immunocompromised individuals. They are also working with Feed Our Heroes, an initiative to support hard-working frontline healthcare workers through meal delivery.
Vail Resorts’ CEO, Rob Katz, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, recently announced a donation of more than $2.5 million to provide support to its employees along with a number of community initiatives, including Whistler Community Services Society’s mobile food bank, mental health services and social service outreach efforts.
Save-On-Foods has partnered with a number of local organizations, such as Backpack Buddies, Breakfast Club of Canada, and Food Banks BC to help provide children with access to school meals. Shoppers can donate $2 or 500 More Rewards points at the till of any Save-On-Foods, PriceSmart Foods, or Urban Fare locations, and the company will match up to a total of $500,000.
Canada’s largest foodservice company recently launched Foodies Unite, an initiative designed to leverage the company’s massive supply chain by providing in-need retailers with product and logistics services. Sysco has also donated two million meals to food relief organizations like Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, and Breakfast Clubs of Canada.
Juke Fried Chicken
Every Monday between 5 and 6 p.m., Juke Fried Chicken will donate 100 per cent of sales made in that hour (up to $500) toward a rotating charity or hospitality initiative. Last week, the Vancouver eatery raised $500 for the Vancouver Food and Beverage Community Relief Fund. This week’s Restaurant Relief Hour will go toward OneTable, followed by the BC Hospitality Foundation the week after.