Local Food Banks and Rogers Step Up to the Plate to help more than 56,000 Albertans
Alberta food hampers will provide more than one million meals to support increased demand at food banks
Rogers employees in Alberta volunteer to help organize, fill and distribute hampers
EDMONTON, July 30, 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 Alberta, delivering food hampers that will provide more than one million meals to local food banks. These hampers will help fill the plates of more than 56,000 Albertans across the province.
“Albertans 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 Larry Goerzen, President of Alberta and Prairies, 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.”
The Step Up to the Plate initiative started in June at the 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 Alberta, local Rogers employee volunteers, including the mobile retail Pro On-the-Go team, are working with Edmonton’s Food Bank and the Calgary Food Bank to organize and prepare thousands of food hampers for distribution to those who need it most.
“This is an incredible initiative from Rogers,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “At a time when so many families are struggling, the company is stepping up to assist our most vulnerable. Our government commends Rogers for all their hard work and community efforts in Alberta.”
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 – including Edmonton’s Food Bank and the Calgary Food Bank – many 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.
“Prior to COVID-19, Edmonton’s Food Bank was seeing more people in need and experienced our highest numbers on record the first quarter of the year. The combined effect of the economic downturn and the pandemic, vulnerable Edmontonians are at a greater risk. We are fortunate to have Rogers’ commitment to help us serve our community,” said Marjorie Bencz, CM, Executive Director, Edmonton’s Food Bank. “Our doors will remain open and ensuring people have access to food together.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more challenges for vulnerable Calgarians, many of whom were already reeling from Alberta’s economic downturn,” said James McAra, President and CEO, Calgary Food Bank. “This donation will help us feed thousands of clients and is a great example of Rogers commitment to the community.”
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 keep Canadians connected. 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 Alberta – 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.