Mar 20, 2020

COVID-19 CEO Update: Navigating a New Reality

Dear friend,

Like you, we at Daily Bread Food Bank are navigating a new reality.

The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving quickly and there is a sense of anxiety in our city as we do our best to prepare for what’s to come. Throughout this challenging time, our goal has been to maintain uninterrupted service of food delivery to those experiencing poverty, while keeping our staff and volunteers safe. This has been a lofty goal with a unique set of logistical challenges and we are so grateful to everyone who is rallying with us to ensure that no one struggles with hunger during this difficult time.

Over the last two weeks, we have been implementing our Pandemic Plan which has required us to make numerous adjustments. These changes have allowed us to continue to work towards our goal and I would like to share with you the following updates:

Changes to 191 New Toronto Street Food Bank: We are now distributing food hampers, rather than our standard shopping model, to clients. We are able to do this because we have partnered with Global Medic to install a field hospital tent in our parking lot. Hampers are now being transferred from warehouse to tent via a conveyor belt for client pick up, allowing for safe distances. The food bank will continue to operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Government Relations: We are in daily contact with City of Toronto officials as part of the City-Community Response Table, as well as a table focused on coordinating food access across the city for vulnerable residents. We are also working closely with provincial and federal government representatives to identify opportunities to provide emergency assistance to low-income households.

Food Bank Closures: Approximately 1/3 of food banks in Toronto have been unable to maintain operations during this time. Daily Bread Food Bank’s Programs and Services team has proposed solutions on how we may be able to provide alternative services to affected areas. Our current inventory is approximately 17 days’ worth of food, but the need is growing rapidly. You can help us with this challenge by donating food or funds.

Event Cancellations: Daily Bread Food Bank’s annual Spring Food Sort has regrettably been cancelled to follow COVID-19 social spacing recommendations. We absolutely love welcoming volunteers to our warehouse and working together during public events and look forward to the next opportunity to do so. Updates will be posted here.

How YOU can help: We have been getting a lot of questions from the public about how to best support our COVID-19 relief efforts. With a food inventory in need of replenishing, your monetary donations will allow us to purchase the exact items that meet the needs of our clients. You can also drop off non-perishable food donations at your nearest fire hall, or place an online order from Amazon or favourite grocery store and have it delivered directly to our distribution center at 191 New Toronto Street, Toronto, ON, M8V 2E7. Click here for a list of other FAQs.

On behalf of our clients, staff and volunteers, THANK YOU. Thank you for standing with us during this time of uncertainty, it is because of your support that we can continue to provide uninterrupted service to the thousands of adults, seniors and children who rely on Daily Bread Food Bank for nourishment.

In partnership,
Neil Hetherington

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