Ottawa Food Bank and Rogers Step Up to the Plate to help 34,000 in Ottawa
Ottawa food hampers will provide 709,000 local meals to support increased demand at food banks
Rogers employees in Ottawa volunteer to help organize, fill and distribute hampers
OTTAWA, August 5, 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 Ottawa, delivering food hampers that will provide more than 709,000 meals in hampers for local food banks. These hampers will help fill the plates of 34,000 across Ottawa.
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 Ottawa, local Rogers employee volunteers, including the mobile retail Pro On-the-Go team, are working with the Ottawa Food Bank to organize and continue stuffing thousands of food hampers for distribution to local food banks to help those who need it most.
“Ottawa is where we live, where we work, and where we raise our families. It’s our responsibility to step up locally and today that’s through food donations and volunteer time,” said Heidi Bonnell, President of National Capital Region and Vice-President, Federal Government Affairs, 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 Ottawa Food Bank – 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.
“Congratulations to Rogers on celebrating their 60th anniversary,” says Michael Maidment, CEO, Ottawa Food Bank. “We are thrilled that Rogers has chosen to honour this milestone by giving back to communities across the country, including Ottawa. This will go a long way to help our member agency food programs and neighbours. We are in an unprecedented time when helping one another is needed now more than ever. With that in mind, we are grateful that Rogers has stepped up to the plate.”
“When vulnerable Canadians are most in need, food banks, community organizations, and our government are here to support them. We will continue to support Canadians facing social, economic, and health challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said The Honorable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, and Associate Minister of Finance. “We welcome today’s announcement, and applaud the thousands of volunteers and partner organizations from across the country who have come together to ‘Step Up to the Plate’.”
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; 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 Ottawa – 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.