It’s been just one week since the devastating and tragic explosion occurred in Beirut, but the compassion and altruism displayed by Canadians in that short time has been both heartening and inspiring.
Vancouver’s Nuba and Faculty Brewing Co. were among the first to step up to offer support to Lebanon, but several have since joined the cause and are actively generating much-needed aid for those affected by the disaster.
Canadians have also continued to combat the effects of COVID-19 and food insecurity through various charitable endeavours, raising millions of dollars in food and funds for those who need it most.
Here are just some of the ways Canada’s hospitality community has been giving back.
Paramount Fine Foods and the Lebanese-Canadian Coalition
Paramount Fine Foods founder Mohamad Fakih and a group of Lebanese-Canadian business owners recently formed the Lebanese-Canadian Coalition.
They have partnered with the Humanitarian Coalition and aim to raise $2.5 million to support relief efforts in Beirut. Fakih also recently announced that he is heading to Beirut to offer in-person, hands-on aid to those affected by the explosion.
Shortly after the announcement by the Lebanese-Canadian Coalition, the Government of Canada launched the Lebanon Matching Fund, and have promised to match up to $2 million in donations from Canadians.
Second Harvest and Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Today, Second Harvest and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association announced the approval for $22 million to purchase and redistribute perishable food to communities across the country, 10 per cent or more of which will be directed to northern communities.
The redistribution project was made possible thanks in large part to a $50 million contribution from the federal government through the Surplus Food Rescue Program.
The plant-based, Middle Eastern restaurant was able to raise a total of $5,600 to help the two charities provide emergency shelter relief, rehabilitating homes, and helping families rebuild their lives.
Intercity Packers Meat and Seafood
For every pack sold, Intercity Packers will donate $5 to Mackie’s Place, a Surrey-based youth social house that supports young people struggling with poverty, trauma, addictions, and other challenges. So far, Intercity Packers has raised more than $15,800 for various charitable causes since the onset of the pandemic.
This week, Sobeys Inc. announced a $1 million donation in support of Special Olympics Canada. The funds will directly support roughly 49,600 Special Olympics athletes and the 22,000 volunteers that deliver more than 6,175 programs in 365 communities across Canada.
Since their partnership began in 2016, Sobeys Inc. has contributed more than $5.4 million in food and funds to Special Olympics Canada.
Wrap N Roll
Over the weekend, Victoria’s Wrap N Roll organized a fundraiser to support the people affected by the explosion in Beirut. The city of Victoria rallied to answer Wrap N Roll’s call for aid, and after selling almost 900 falafel wraps, they were able to raise a total of $20,511.99.