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London Food Bank, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Rogers Step Up to the Plate to help almost 25,000 Southwestern Ontarians

August 20, 2020

News Releases

SWO food hampers will provide more than 524,000 local meals to support increased demand at food banks

Rogers employees in London and Kitchener volunteer to help organize, fill and distribute hampers

LONDON, August 20, 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 Southwestern Ontario, delivering food hampers that will provide more than 524,000 meals for local food banks.  These hampers will help fill the plates of almost 25,000 Southwestern Ontarians.   

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 London and Kitchener, local Rogers employee volunteers are working with London Food Bank and The Food Bank of Waterloo Region to organize and continue stuffing thousands of food hampers for distribution to local food banks to help those who need it most.

“Southwestern Ontarians 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 Philippe Oille, President of Southwestern Ontario Region, 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 – including the London Food Bank and The Food Bank of Waterloo Region – 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 partnership of the Rogers team through the  Step up to the Plate  program with the London Food Bank has meant that so many Londoners continue to receive the food assistance that they need through these uncertain times,” said Jane Roy, Co-Executive Director, London Food Bank. “The pandemic has created much stress and concern for so Londoners facing food insecurity.  If the summer has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t quarantine hunger.  Thanks, Rogers for being there when it counts!”

“COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and interact and has had a significant impact on the most vulnerable in our community,” said Wendi Campbell, CEO, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. “With support from Rogers and the Step Up to the Plate initiative, we are able to provide pre-packed hampers to the community programs and agency partners, allowing them to focus on safe service delivery. Thank you to Rogers staff and family members that stepped up to help make an impact.”

“Thank you to Rogers and the London Food Bank for coming together to support individuals in need in our community,” said Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre. “This is precisely the type of initiative that reflects the possibilities and potential of partnership. Food insecurity has been a challenge for many in our city, particularly during COVID-19. The “Step Up to the Plate” campaign is one example of how this reality is being confronted: by people volunteering in solidarity to help their fellow citizens.”

“The community support Step Up to the Plate is providing is phenomenal,” said Hon. Monte McNaughton, Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. “I know the contributions of the volunteers from Rogers will mean so much for the 25,000 people benefitting from this generosity. This is amazing work.”

“The City of London is very pleased to welcome the Rogers “Step Up to the Plate” program to our City, especially as it works in support of the outstanding efforts of the London Food Bank in distributing food to Londoners who need it most,” said Josh Morgan, Acting Mayor and Councillor (ward 7), City of London. “The tireless work of the London Food Bank on behalf of our vulnerable population has been particularly beneficial during the pandemic. The complementary work of the Rogers Step Up to the Plate program will greatly enhance the ability of our local food bank to serve Londoners, and we are very grateful to Rogers for this assistance.”   

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 our customers 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; providing Ted Rogers Community Grants to support organizations that help youth succeed inside and outside the classroom; 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 Southwestern Ontario – 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.

About Rogers
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.

For more information:
Rogers – media@rci.rogers.com, 647-747-5118
London Food Bank – Jane Roy, London Food Bank, jane@londonfoodbank.ca, 519-659-4045 
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region – Jennifer Judges, jenniferj@thefoodbank.ca, 519-574-5489