Home Media News Releases 2020 The Slaight Family Foundation donates over $3M to support food insecure Canadians during COVID-19

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The Slaight Family Foundation donates over $3M to support food insecure Canadians during COVID-19

TORONTO, ON – March 31, 2020 – Continuing their strategic philanthropic approach, The Slaight Family Foundation is donating over three million dollars to four organizations all focused on food. This comprehensive approach looks to address specific societal issues around food – namely food insecurity and food rescue – at a critical time when concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic grow. This crisis has created challenges around food access, especially for the most vulnerable Canadians.

"The Slaight Family Foundation is pleased to lend support to these organizations that are providing the basic necessities of life to our most vulnerable populations during this terrible COVID-19 pandemic" said Gary Slaight, President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.

The significant donation brings together a number of local and national partners to tackle current challenges, from food banking to food rescue and breakfast programs where school closures are leaving many children with reduced access to food.

"On behalf of Breakfast Club of Canada, I am so thankful to The Slaight Family Foundation and I am not at all surprised by their willingness to show up during such a challenging time," says Daniel Germain, President-Founder of Breakfast Club of Canada. "The foundation has always risen up to the occasion and this time is no different. Their values, courage and generosity are truly remarkable. Breakfast Club of Canada, alongside the other organizations that the Slaight Family Foundation are helping, will make sure to reach as many Canadian children and their families during this crisis. More importantly, to help take the burden and insecurity off their shoulders and to provide hope and smiles. On behalf of all those we aim to reach, thank you!"

Food banks across Canada are severely impacted by COVID-19. The need is increased, and the operational capacity is strained. Many food banks have seen drastic reductions in their food recovery efforts as well as reductions in volunteers. Many food banks across the network only have food in stock to provide 10 to 14 days for existing food bank clients, let alone the anticipated rise in demand that will result from the economic impact of the COVID-19 for months to come.

"The need has never been greater across the country," says Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank. "For decades the Slaight family name has been synonymous with philanthropic endeavors that have made the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians better. We at Daily Bread Food Bank are hopeful that many others across the country will follow the Slaight lead so the sting of poverty and hunger can be dulled."

According to HungerCount 2019, an annual report released by Food Banks Canada that analyzes data from thousands of food banks across the country, Canadians already made more than one million visits to food banks every month prior to the growing COVID-19 crisis.

"This incredible gift will go directly to feeding those hardest hit by this pandemic," says Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada. "Words will not express our deep gratitude, but we can give our heartfelt thanks on behalf of people across every coast in Canada struggling with food insecurity. Particularly in these uncertain times, when the need is likely to grow to levels we have never seen before, it’s important now more than ever that Canadians rally to support their neighbours in need."

Food recovery, or rescue, is also part of the solution – in addition to providing the additional environmental benefit.

"As we work together in this crisis to make sure every Canadian has access to the food they need to stay healthy, we thank the Slaight Family Foundation for their incredible support," says Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest. "This is an impossible task to do alone, and we are proud to be working with the Foundation and our partners to make sure Canadians everywhere have access to fresh, nutritious food. Our mission is simple: that no one gets left behind."

About The Slaight Family Foundation

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight is known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, music leader and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture.

About Breakfast Club of Canada

Accredited by Imagine Canada for its effective governance, the Club provides much more than breakfast: its approach is based on commitment, self-esteem and capacity development using an optimal formula adapted to local needs. Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed more than 250,000 children and youth in 1,809 schools across the country. To learn more, visit http://breakfastclubcanada.org/.

About Daily Bread Food Bank

Daily Bread Food Bank works towards long-term solutions to end hunger and poverty and runs innovative programs to support individuals living on low income and experiencing food insecurity. Daily Bread distributes fresh and shelf-stable food, and fresh-cooked meals to 130 member agencies and 170 food programs across Toronto. Daily Bread also publishes the influential Who's Hungry report - an annual survey measuring trends in food insecurity and poverty in Toronto to educate the public and spark policy change. Visit http://www.dailybread.ca/ to learn more.

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 http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/ to learn more.

About Second Harvest

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and works across the supply chain from farm to retail to capture surplus food before it winds up in landfill. Through our fleet of 11 trucks and our online platform http://foodrescue.ca/, Second Harvest has rescued and redistributed 15.6 million pounds of fresh, healthy food to more than 1,000 non-profit partners across Canada. With the escalating pandemic, Second Harvest, a global thought leader in food recovery and redistribution, has developed the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA), that brings together government, private and non-profit sectors to ensure food reaches the most vulnerable members of our communities, from coast-to-coast. Visit http://www.secondharvest.ca/ to learn more.

For more information and interview requests: 

The Slaight Family Foundation
Terry Smith | terry.smith@slaight.com | 416-357-1231

Breakfast Club of Canada
Nathalie Rochette | Nathalie.rochette@breakfastclubcanada.org | 514-404-5660

Daily Bread Food Bank
Eva Molina | emolina@dailybread.ca | 416-450-2196

Food Banks Canada
Zeba Dantas | zebadantas@sppublicrelations.com | 416-434-3211

Second Harvest
Benita Aalto | benitaa@secondharvest.ca | 416-209-1391

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)