Daily Bread Food Bank had the pleasure of partnering with the Toronto Argos on two main events this fall to spread awareness of food insecurity in our city. Together, we raised thousands of dollars and over 11,500 pounds of food for the fight against hunger.
In late September, we welcomed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, defensive lineman Shawn Oakman and TSN SportsCentre host Kate Beirness at Daily Bread. The three of them took a tour, even braving our -18-degree freezer, to hear about recent spikes in Toronto food bank use and the need for more support. Shawn leaned back in surprise when he heard that our pre-pandemic yearly budget for purchasing food was $1.6 million, and this year it’s forecasted at about $12 or $13 million.
The three of them also sorted donations in our production hall, surprised an all-star volunteer with a signed Bethel-Thompson jersey and filmed video clips to raise awareness with their audiences.
“I remember when I was a kid growing up in the shelter; this was very important for me and my family when we needed food,” Shawn said for a video shot on site. “I know without those people giving back in the day, I wouldn’t have gotten as big, as strong as I am today. So please, Argos fans, give as much back as you can.”
For the next event, Daily Bread went to the Argos. On October 8, 20 Daily Bread staff members and volunteers arrived at BMO Field for Purolator’s Tackle Hunger game. We stationed ourselves at each gate to collect cash and food donations, and Purolator set up a truck and tent at Gate 1. Anyone who donated there had an extra incentive — a photo op with the gleaming Grey Cup!
At the start of the game, Daily Bread CEO Neil Hetherington strode out onto the field with the referee to perform the coin toss, and went back out at half time to hear the final donations numbers beside Argos general manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons and Purolator’s Stephen Collins. Argos fans had raised 11,508 pounds of food at the game — enough for 11,508 meals. In fact, the game was a success in multiple ways: The Argos beat the Lions 23-20 (with a fourth-quarter touchdown that brought the audience to their feet) and secured their No. 1 standing in the CFL’s East Division.
We loved collaborating with the Argos this fall. They care about the cause and we’re grateful for the extra spotlight they bring to the issue of food insecurity.
Donate today to help provide food that will promote good health and brighten the hearts of families in need this fall.