Pusateri’s Fine Foods (“Pusateri’s”) is calling on all food banks in Toronto to sign up for the Feeding our City initiative where more than 15,000 meals are now available to be donated to their respective organizations.

In April 2020, Pusateri’s Fine Foods launched Feeding Our Heroes, an initiative committed to donating meals to frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. With an overwhelming response towards the initiative, Pusateri’s successfully donated 10,000 meals to essential workers, but there is still so much more work to be done.

“Pusateri’s reached out to our team at the beginning of COVID-19 to see how they could support frontline workers at our hospitals. Our staff were absolutely thrilled to receive such delicious food during the pandemic,” says Louise Aspin, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, which supports University Health Network (UHN). “It’s been a very trying time for many of our team members at UHN, and to see the smiles these meals brought to their faces was so nice. Pusateri’s really stepped up to do their part for the community and we are excited to see how many more people they will be able to help.”

Today, Pusateri’s announced its decision to commit another 15,000 meals to support our local food banks, who need an extra hand now, more than ever.

In a 2019 report from The Daily Bread Food Bank, it was noted that 49% of GTA respondents reported they will go hungry for a day, at least once a month. During COVID-19, The Daily Bread Food Bank saw a 35% increase in food bank use in Toronto.

“Thousands of individuals need emergency food support as many have lost their jobs because of this pandemic. Through Feeding our City, Pusateri’s will be able to deliver nearly 400 meals per day to food banks as they struggle to navigate growing food shortages,” said Frank Luchetta, President and CEO of Pusateri’s. “After years of working with a number of food banks, including Daily Bread Food Bank, we are acutely aware that the number of individuals who go hungry each day is staggering and COVID-19 has only exacerbated that fact.”

Pusateri’s is eager to launch the new extension of this initiative, with hopes to help many more in the city.

“Pusateri’s has always been a great partner to the Daily Bread Food Bank, providing food and financial contributions to help support our families,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank. “COVID-19 has created many more stark realities and we are grateful for organizations like Pusateri’s to help us make the greatest impact. We hope that every food bank in Toronto takes advantage of the initiative and fuels our ability to feed the community.”

There is no qualification to be eligible for Feeding Our City, except to be located in Toronto and be registered as a food bank or charity. Each meal donated will include a pre-packaged Pusateri’s meal with sides and a snack.

“We are asking for any food banks in Toronto, no matter how big or small, to submit their organizations for our initiative,” said Luchetta. “We want to be able to reach as many families as we possibly can and we are asking for our city’s support to share who might need these meals the most right now.”

Food banks can submit themselves to the Feeding our City initiative or community members can submit on behalf of an organization. The link is now live and food banks will be supported on a first come, first serve basis until all 15,000 meals are delivered.

Interested food banks can visit here and complete the registration form where they will then be contacted to confirm delivery details.

“As a community, we realize the impact that COVID-19 has on nearly every element of our lives,” said Luchetta. “As businesses reopen and we try to move forward, it is important to remember that we have people and communities that are still struggling. We are so inspired seeing other companies and organizations mobilizing for a good cause over the last few months, and we hope that we can be part of lending a helping hand with Feeding Our City.”

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