The gradual easing of social distancing restrictions has allowed many Canadian food and beverage businesses to resume partial operations, but that hasn’t stopped our incredible culinary community from continuing to provide support to those who need it most.
Despite facing a multitude of their own hurdles and hardships, numerous restaurants, bars, breweries, and grocers have come together in solidarity with adamant resolve to serve as shining examples for all Canadians.
From initiatives that drive funds to food banks and non-profits to mealshare programs that provide healthy meals for at-risk individuals and families, to global initiatives to keep our beloved independent establishments open, here are just a few of the ways the Canadian hospitality heavyweights have given back during the pandemic.
Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market
Last week, Longo’s relaunched its Neighbour in Need program to combat food insecurity in Ontario by providing pre-assembled bags of essential items to local non-profits and food banks, such as Second Harvest and Churches on-the-Hill Foodbank. Each bag is filled with essential items like shelf-stable vegetables and grains, and can provide up to nine meals.
Guests are encouraged to donate a $5.99- or $11.00-bag at the checkout of any of the 37 Longo’s locations and Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation has stated that it will match up to $100,000. Donations can also be made online.
La Tablée des Chefs
La Tablée des Chefs recently launched Les Cuisine Solidaires in an effort to produce more than 1,600,000 ready-to-go meals for the Food Banks of Quebec. Led by chef Jean-François Archambault, the initiative has now garnered help from more than 70 establishments and more than 100 chefs from across the province. So far they have produced 578,000 meals.
Feeding YYC recently launched a collaborative campaign with multiple Calgary restaurants to provide meals to families in need. For every family meal purchased, a meal is donated by one of the participating restaurants, which include the likes of Foreign Concept, Pure Kitchen and Bar, and Roy’s Korean Kitchen.
Find the full list of participating restaurants online.
Vancouver Firefighter Charities
After partnering with a group of Vancouver restaurants in March to deliver care packages to in-need individuals, the Vancouver Firefighter Charities just launched a new “fresh box” initiative to provide healthy produce and grocery items as well. The new campaign aims to deliver 500 take-home food packages to at-risk school children every week.
The program is largely funded by voluntary payroll contributions from Vancouver firefighters, but donations to help cover the cost can be made online.
In addition to offering 50 free meals per week to frontline health workers, the team at Calgary’s Modern Steak recently offered a three-course take-out menu, and 100 per cent of the proceeds were donated to the Nova Scotia Victims Fund. Chef Anthony Pitello’s Nova Scotia Sunday Dinner quickly sold out and was able to raise a total of $10,045.
Stella Artois recently launched the Rally for Restaurants initiative to provide local establishments with immediate financial relief. Through the program, customers can purchase gift cards from registered restaurants, pubs, and bars across Canada, and Stella Artois will add an additional $10 to the value of each card. So far, more than 200 Canadian establishments have signed on.
Both registration and gift card purchases can be made online.
Village Ice Cream
Village Ice Cream is currently in the process of donating 1,000 of its popular Little Villagers to various people, community organizations, and charities that could use an ice cream pick-me-up. Village has been taking donations requests for the past week and are scheduled to announce where the donations are heading later today.