How GTA residents support low-income families while encouraging others to do the same
Daily Bread Food Bank volunteers expected to sort 40,000 pounds of food Saturday
For Boniface Fung, a Toronto father who volunteered at Daily Bread Food Bank's annual spring sort on Saturday, helping out with the drive offers more than an opportunity to give back to the community — it's also a lesson for his family.
"I want to teach my kids how fortunate we really are in life, that we have food to eat, but unfortunately there's a lot of people who aren't as fortunate as us," he said.
And that lesson seems to have resonated with his daughter.
"We're really fortunate to have all these things, to be able to have food," Natalie Fung said. "To the poor, they're luxuries."
Take a look at some of the photos captured as hundreds of volunteers helped out at Saturday's drive.
Fung and his daughters were just a few of the more than 200 volunteers to turn up at the drive on Saturday, which took place in the warehouse of the Daily Bread Food Bank, located near New Toronto Street and Dwight Avenue.
About 40,000 pounds of food donations were sorted, and will all be given to Toronto residents facing food insecurity.
Food needs to last to Thanksgiving Day, CEO says
Food insecurity and the need for help surges during the months leading up to summer, Daily Bread CEO Neil Hetherington says, as low-income families prepare for a pause in breakfast and school nutrition programs.
"So you have, say, a single-parent family, who has additional meals they need to supplement at a time where the food bank is lowest in terms of what's on the shelf," he told CBC Toronto.
Hetherington said the spring drive is especially important because the food bank needs to be sufficiently supplied for the months ahead.
"We're anxious at this time of year to make sure we stock up really until Thanksgiving," he said.
Although Hetherington and his team had a goal of raising $1 million for the spring drive, he says they've only reached about $600,000.
Despite falling short of their goal, he says seeing families coming out to volunteer year after year has been the inspiring.
'We've just enjoyed giving back'
Among those families are Nicole Lindo and her 16-year-old son who volunteer every year at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They started about five years ago, and have no plans of stopping.
"We've just enjoyed giving back," Lindo said.
Her son, Joshua Lindo, is in high school, and says it's the responsibility of community members to help those in need.
"If part of your community needs help, if we have the ability to help them, that's what we should do," he said.
With files from Christopher Mulligan