When we began covering the admirable acts made by Canada’s food and beverage community at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were both amazed and inspired that the hospitality industry, which had been among the hardest hit, were also among the first to offer a helping hand to those in need.
Now more than a month later, those initial acts of inspiration have snowballed to such incredible displays of generosity and benevolence from Canada’s hospitality heavyweights on a near-daily basis.
Here are just a few of the ways the Canadian culinary community has given back during the pandemic.
The Turkey Farmers and Processors of Canada
The Turkey Farmers and Processors of Canada (TFC) recently launched The Wishbone Project in an effort to give back and help those affected by COVID-19--locally, provincially, and nationally--through funds and food.
The Wishbone Project’s first initiative saw the TFC donate $50,000 to Kids Help Phone to help ensure young people are able to reach out for help during the pandemic. The Wishbone Project has also allocated an additional $25,000 toward supporting individuals across the country who are helping to combat food insecurity.
Corby Spirit and Wine and Diageo Canada
Last week, two of Canada’s biggest spirits companies, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and Diageo Canada, joined forces to make a $100,000 donation toward the Bartenders Benevolent Fund. Established in 2013, the Bartenders Benevolent Fund is a non-profit financial resource for bartenders, servers, and front-of-house support staff working in Canada’s hospitality industry.
Donations to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund can be made online.
Fireball Whisky and the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association
In response to the staggering number of hospitality workers who are out of work due to COVID-19, the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association and Montreal-based Fireball Whisky launched the Canada’s Biggest Tip Jar campaign.
Fireball Whisky has kicked off the campaign with an initial donation of $45,000, and will match additional donations up to $75,000. Canadians are encouraged to donate to the fund when enjoying cocktails from home.
After being forced to close his cooking school and deli and lay off 90 per cent of his staff, Dirty Apron owner David Robertson and his remaining team have been donating their time and skills to cook meals for vulnerable individuals in Downtown Eastside Vancouver.
Teaming up with the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Community College, and Whole Way House, the Dirty Apron team is committed to delivering between 1,500 and 1,800 meals per week.
Dare Foods Ltd.
Bessie Box has been giving back to the community in a number of ways since the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to hiring drivers who had been recently laid off and adding an extra package of ground beef to every order, the Calgary-based meat delivery service has sourced more than 600 pairs of gloves for the Calgary Drop-In Centre and donated more than 125 pounds of leftover meat to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary.
Thus far unaffected by the current COVID-19 outbreak in some of Alberta’s larger meat processing facilities, Bessie Box has continued to prioritize the health and safety of both its employees and its consumers.
To kick off the month of May, Nude Beverages will be donating up to $50,000 toward COVID-19 relief efforts by Canadian Red Cross, Alberta SPCA, Canada Helps, and other localized efforts.
The sugar-free vodka soda company is also providing hand sanitizer to essential workers and are working with small local businesses to provide support any way they can. In-need businesses can reach out to Nude Beverages for support via email.
Good Robot Brewing
The latest in Good Robot Brewing’s ongoing effort to give back during the pandemic is a new dry-hopped Belgian ale called The FrontLiner. Fifty per cent of proceeds from FrontLiner sales go toward supplying critical equipment for the QEII Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, such as pulse oximeters, specialized ultrasounds, and mental health resources.