LONDON, April 30, 2020 - It was a gap identified in meetings of the Mayor’s Economic and Social Impact & Recovery Task Forces: How do we get meals to our most vulnerable? With that question in mind, a group of partners across the nonprofit, business and government sectors came together to meet the need.
It started with RBC Place London reaching out to say we can help - we have industrial kitchens, food suppliers and staff - and then asking what nonprofit they should reach out to for help. Pillar Nonprofit Network, whose reason for being is connecting others for community impact, made the match to the London Food Bank who has a long history of getting food to those who need it most. Within minutes a partnership was sparked to make lunches daily for those most vulnerable to be distributed to the existing agencies that are supporting them.
Stir in Youth Opportunities Unlimited who will have youth making meals for youth who are at risk or homeless.
Add in generous businesses to the partnership recipe including Cargill who will be supporting 60 lunches per day for youth.
With all these partners in the mix, we now have all the integral ingredients for a large-scale partnership in response to a huge gap during COVID-19. Daily bagged lunches will be delivered to agencies for those in our city who are at risk and vulnerable. This project is just the beginning of what is possible to address gaps in London’s COVID-19 reponse and other persisting issues facing our community.
Collaboration and coming together across sectors has always been necessary and evident in our community and now it is happening in big ways and rapidly as seen in this new partnership. It is heartening to see how nonprofits, business and government are offering up their ideas, talent, products and spaces.
Pillar Executive Director Michelle Baldwin says, “Often we think that it is the work of nonprofits to do good and we have been working to remind ourselves and others that we don’t own good. In a crisis like this, we’re all measuring ourselves by the good that we do. This partnership is an example of all three pillars - nonprofit, business and government doing good - together. ” Pillar will also help to source needed volunteers for deliveries as part of the partnership using its online portal.
Glen Pearson, Co-Executive Director of the London Food Bank says, “It is remarkable how we’re all stepping up and doing our part in this crisis. The London Food Bank wants to do its part, and so we are partnering with some pretty amazing people and organizations to reach the most vulnerable in our city. The food bank will ensure that these hearty lunches will get to the agencies that require them and we thank Londoners and our partners for all this remarkable community.”
Lori Da Silva, CEO of RBC Place London adds, “We’ve been involved in many conversations about how we can best serve our community as we are well known for providing great food for large scale events. Our team will be preparing individually packaged cold lunches to start, and we have the ability to expand services offered as additional needs are identified. It is our hope that some of our team members will be able to return to work as this program scales up.”
For information please contact:
Pillar Nonprofit Network
London Food Bank
Lori Da Silva
General Manager & CEO
RBC Place London
About Pillar Nonprofit Network
Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact.
We support more than 610 nonprofits, social enterprises and social innovators by sharing resources, exchanging knowledge and creating meaningful connections across the three pillars of nonprofit, business and government.
Pillar Nonprofit Network believes that a connected network sparks collaboration and a willingness to lean on each other to help build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community.
About London Food Bank
When the London Food Bank was first started in 1986, co-directors Jane Roy and Glen Pearson determined that it should be largely volunteer-run and fully transparent to the community at large.
Now in its 35th year, the Food Bank continues to flourish specifically because of its great volunteers, a committed staff, and a community that continues to donate supplies year after year.
The London Food Bank is an important part of this functioning city and we invite you to explore more of how we function and who we serve.
About RBC Place London
RBC Place London is the largest convention centre in Southwestern Ontario, providing exceptional experiences to hundreds of conventions, conferences and events annually.
RBC Place London is committed to strengthening the health of the local community by partnering with local groups and non-profit organizations.