ICYMI: Canadian food banks to receive $100 million, mass layoffs in food service sector, and more

Here are six stories you might have missed in food news this week

The current state of North America’s hospitality industry was heavily present in Canadian food news this week, with Restaurants Canada reporting 800,000 layoffs in the food service sector in March alone. 

While many continue to wonder what the industry will look like once the pandemic ends, restaurateurs like Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen believe the industry itself needs systematic restructuring in order to provide a better safety net should a similar situation arise in the future. 

Finally, in response to the rapidly increasing need to fortify Canadian food security, the federal government announced a $100 million fund to be dispersed among multiple food charities, and Canadian-born actor Ryan Reynolds made yet another contribution to the cause.

Here are six stories you might have missed in food news this week. 

Food banks experiencing significantly increased demand

Food insecurity was already a major issue in Canada, but according to Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), food banks across the country saw significantly increased demand during the month of March. CFCC added that without assistance, many of our country's food banks will not have the capacity to deal with the ongoing surge.

Find out more at Global News.

Federal government to provide $100 million to address urgent food needs


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In a statement made earlier this week, the prime minister announced that the federal government will provide $100 million in funding to help organizations such as Food Banks Canada, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada and Breakfast Club of Canada.

Get the full breakdown from CTV News

Ryan Reynolds donates to Edmonton Food Bank


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After making the news last week for a $1 million donation to Canada Food Banks and Feeding America, Canadian celebrity Ryan Reynolds surprised 104.9 Virgin Radio listeners with a contribution to a campaign for Edmonton’s Food Bank.

The Vancouver-born actor included his signature comedic touch, adding, “I happen to love Edmonton. This donation is in memory of Connor McGrath.”

Check out Edmonton Journal for the whole story. 

800,000 food service employees laid off in March

According to a survey conducted by Restaurants Canada last week, the Canadian food service sector laid off 800,000 people in March as the coronavirus forced shutdowns across the country. Restaurants Canada is also warning that close to 30 per cent of restaurants will not be able to reopen if the situation continues without intervention.

Head to the Financial Post for more. 

Canadian New York City restaurateur reflects on issues within hospitality industry


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The New York Times recently shared an opinion piece from Amanda Cohen, wherein the Canadian-born chef reflects on how the last few weeks have affected her award-winning New York City restaurant, Dirt Candy. Cohen also explains how the current pandemic has exposed numerous pre-existing issues within the hospitality industry that should be addressed upon its recommencement.

Find the entirety of chef Cohen's opinion piece at the New York Times.

Chef Nathan Fong dies at 61

Award-winning Candian chef and international food industry icon Nathan Fong tragically passed away Monday in Vancouver. In addition to the innumerable accolades Fong accrued throughout his career, those who were close to him say he will be remembered for his warm, generous, and vivacious personality.

Visit The Globe and Mail for more on the iconic Canadian chef.