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Bringing Toronto Back To Its Feet


When the leagues came to a halt and suspended their seasons on March 11 and 12, MLSE recognized a need in the community that it plays an important role in. Through discussions with the city and province about priority needs, MLSE was inspired to develop the large-scale meal program and enlisted the help of several corporate partners, who all felt a sense of responsibility to provide support during this challenging time for the communities who needed it most.


On April 24, MLSE and a group of dedicated partners teamed up to create a large-scale meal program, which is now known as Bringing Toronto back to its feet. The objective of the program was to create and deliver 500,000 meals to front-line healthcare workers and the city’s most vulnerable population through a long-time partnership with Second Harvest.


Founding partners include Scotiabank, Tangerine Bank, Bell and Rogers. BMO followed with support a week later as a lead partner to help expand the initiative. As part of the Bringing Toronto back to its feet initiative, Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, and BMO Field, home of Toronto FC and Toronto Argonauts, were transformed into Toronto’s largest kitchens to prepare and assemble as many as 13,000 meals a day.


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The program hit the 500,000 meal mark on Friday, July 17. Over the past three and a half months, Bringing Toronto Back to Its Feet provided 25,000 meals per week to over 75 community agencies, which were identified by Second Harvest, and over 100,000 meals donated to front-line healthcare workers and their families at 25 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the GTA.


During that period our generous partners donated many of the food products and resources, including 70,000 pounds of chicken provided by Maple Lodge Farms, 45,000 pounds of pasta and canned goods from Unico/Primo, 55,000 pounds in potatoes from McCain and 15,000 pounds of rice from MARS were used to prepare the meals. Sysco has logged more than 400 hours and 10,000 kilometres in the process of delivering the meals throughout the city.


Our common purpose “To united and empower employees to create extraordinary moments for our fans and each other” is more than just a quote. Our employees from different business units volunteered throughout the initiative every week to support and help the city in a meaningful way. The feedback we have received from the people who were volunteering has been incredible and we are very proud of the extraordinary moments we have created for them. It is important for us to be a community builder and play a leadership role in our local communities. This was one of the ways we were able to do that in a time when our business halted.


The program will continue delivering the remaining meals to the end of July and we will continue supporting Second Harvest and provide fresh, nutritious, ready-to-heat single-serving or family meals suitable for a variety of dietary needs.