Greater Vancouver, Central Okanagan Food Banks and Rogers Step Up to the Plate to help more than 63,000 British Columbians
British Columbia food hampers will provide more than 1.3 million local meals to support increased demand at food banks
Rogers employees in B.C. volunteer to help organize, fill and distribute hampers
VANCOUVER, August 6, 2020 – Stepping up to help address food insecurity facing many Canadian families, Rogers Communications’ Step Up to the Plate initiative with Food Banks Canada has arrived in British Columbia, delivering food hampers that will provide more than 1,343,000 meals for local food banks. These hampers will help fill the plates of more than 63,000 British Columbians across the province.
The Step Up to the Plate initiative started in June at Rogers Centre in Toronto, with Rogers employee volunteers and their families filling food hampers with non-perishable food items that provide an individual with a week’s worth of meals. Now, trucks loaded with hampers and pallets of food are on the move, destined for communities across Canada, where an unprecedented 8 million meals will be provided to Canadians when the initiative is completed this summer. On arrival in B.C., local Rogers employee volunteers, including the mobile retail Pro On-the-Go team, are working with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in Burnaby and the Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna to organize and continue stuffing thousands of food hampers for distribution to local food banks to help those who need it most.
“British Columbians are part of our extended family at Rogers, and when our family needs help, it’s our responsibility to step up and pitch in, through food donations, volunteering, and more,” said Rick Sellers, President of B.C., Rogers Communications. “Rogers has a long legacy of supporting our communities and giving back. This is our 60th year as a company – certainly a year like no other – and we are here to roll up our sleeves and get to work so we can come through this together.”
As the country begins to reopen, the economic impact of the pandemic continues to be significant, affecting food insecurity and demand at food banks. According to Food Banks Canada, which supports over 3,000 food banks and community agencies from coast-to-coast-to-coast – many local food banks have been severely impacted by COVID-19, from decreased volunteers and donations to having to adapt their operations, making it more challenging to meet their clients’ needs.
“The food hampers through Rogers’ Step Up to the Plate initiative have been a wonderful addition to our food distribution for our clients. With 20 non-perishable items and food for a week for an individual, we have been able to supplement the hampers with fresh food such as eggs, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes and bread, which means our clients are taking home a very well balanced and generous supply of groceries for the week,” said David Long, CEO, Greater Vancouver Food Bank. “Our staff and volunteers are loving the amount of food we are able to give to our clients as a result of this initiative, and we’re excited to have the Rogers team on site with us on August 6th.”
“We are proud to partner with Rogers and are incredibly thankful for their support with their Step Up to the Plate initiative”, said Tammie Watson, Chief Development Officer for the Central Okanagan Food Bank. “These pre-made hampers are going to go a long way in helping us provide more meals to children, seniors and families struggling with hunger from the Columbia-Shuswap all the way through to the Okanagan and the Kootenay Boundaries, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Step Up to the Plate is part of The 60 Project, a year-long initiative to mark Rogers 60th anniversary by giving back and building a stronger Canada – from donations of time, money and fundraising support, to investing in Canada and the networks that connect our customers from coast-to-coast-to coast. We are bringing this commitment to life by partnering with community organizations like Food Banks Canada, Women’s Shelters Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Pflag; investing in a 100% Canadian-based Customer Service team and in our networks to help Canada’s economy thrive and grow; and connecting the next generation to education and the support they need to build a bright future. THE 60 PROJECT is about making hope possible, right here, in the Canadian communities we call home.
And with Step Up to the Plate and other initiatives this year, our Rogers family – all 25,000 strong, including here in B.C. – will come together to give back an unprecedented 60,000 volunteer hours. With action, we will stand together with those who need us most, to ensure that all Canadians have an opportunity to move forward to discover a new normal that is better than the one that came before.
Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit about.rogers.com.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada provides national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network from coast-to-coast-to-coast. For 40 years, food banks have been dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. Over 3,000 food banks and community agencies come together to serve our most vulnerable neighbours who – last year – made 1.1 million visits to these organizations in one month alone, according to our HungerCount report. Over the past 10 years, as a system we’ve sourced and shared over 1.4 billion pounds of food and Food Banks Canada shared nearly $70 million in funding to help maximize collective impact and strengthen local capacity – while advocating for reducing the need for food banks. Our vision is clear: create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca to learn more.