YMCA OF Greater Toronto Partners with the Food Bank of York Region to Increase Community Support Through Food Security

May 26, 2020

The Y’s Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre will be used as an additional food storage location, where food donations can be sorted and packed prior to redistribution and delivery

TORONTO, May 26, 2020 – Today, the YMCA of Greater Toronto announced its partnership with the Food Bank of York Region (FBYR) to help process and prepare food donations for community members in need. While an influx of donations to the FBYR means they can provide more food for those experiencing hunger and food insecurity, this increase also means a shortage of storage space. The YMCA’s Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre is currently unoccupied and will be used as a food storage, sorting and repacking facility for overflowing food donations.

YMCA York region food bank

“Our newfound partnership with the Food Bank of York Region is an incredible one that was born out of the simple yet critical need to help address growing food insecurity in our community during this challenging time,” says Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “Our team is working closely with the FBYR – they will be shipping us surplus food donations and providing training for our staff so they can learn how to properly sort and repack the food for distribution. We’re thrilled that one of our locations, which was sitting empty due to COVID restrictions, can now be used to support our community.”

Once the YMCA team at Cedar Glen has prepared the food donations for redistribution, they will be loaded onto a designated FBYR refrigerated truck and sent out for delivery to their network of agencies within the community. The FBYR has also offered some of the food donations to the Y to distribute to other affiliate organizations both in and outside of York region.

“I’m thrilled to be working with an organization with a rich history of providing vital services to the youth of our region and youth throughout the world,” says Alex Bilotta, CEO and Founder, The Food Bank of York Region. “The state of emergency has brought us together to help households make ends meet during this very difficult time. We’re looking forward to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the Y.”

The Y offers a number of food focused programs and services that help people access food and provide hands-on learning opportunities, from growing to cooking food. This partnership is one of the many ways the Y is stepping up and giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s food and hospitality programs and services, visit: www.ymcagta.org

For more information about the Food Bank of York Region, visit: www.fbyr.ca

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

For more than 165 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided leadership and worked with partners solving complex social problems to create real, measurable outcomes that have strengthened the social health and fabric of communities. As a charity, the Y helps people shine through a variety of programs responding to the needs of the community, including education and training, employment and immigrant services, family and youth services, health and fitness programs, child care and camps. Serving the Greater Toronto communities, last year the YMCA made more than 620,000 connections across more than 450 locations. As most of those locations remain temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the Y is stepping up with emergency child care for frontline workers, shelter for at-risk youth and free online and remote programs. It is also supporting food security across the Greater Toronto Area through programs and services such as the Hospitality Program at Metro Hall, which makes 1,000 meals each week for Second Harvest to help feed individuals and families in need. It also feeds 65 young people at Vanauley Street YMCA and YMCA Sprott House three meals a day, held a drive-through food drive that collected over 15,000 pounds of food donations, and has opened a pop-up food pantry two days a week at the Mississauga YMCA.

About the Food Bank of York Region

The FBYR is a regional food bank serving the nine municipalities of York Region (Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, and King). We source, collect, warehouse, and deliver surplus fresh, frozen, and non-perishable food donations for the 70+ local front-line community service agencies we support within our network. We also run a home delivery program for residents of York Region experiencing hunger and food insecurity. For more information about the FBYR, ways to donate or get involved, please visit www.fbyr.ca and follow us on social media.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Brittany Arnold, arnold@veritasinc.com, 905-926-1863

Camille Cote-Begin, cotebegin@veritasinc.com, 416-819-2035