In 2019, there were over 1.1 million visits to Canadian food banks. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been significant job losses, layoffs and business closures which are predicted to increase the demands on food banks by between 30 and 50%. The pandemic has had an impact on many Canadian working middle class families, including some of our own UTE members and their families.
As you know, the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) has always shown that it cares about the well-being of not only its members, but also of others, especially the most vulnerable in our society, and has shown great generosity in the past as needs were identified. In addition to the crucial role played by our members to help the federal government fund a multitude of services to ensure the well-being of Canadians, our union believes it has an important social role to play in our society.
Our local has followed the lead of UTE National and has made a donation of $5000 to Foodshare Toronto, on behalf of our 800 members, to help support families in the Greater Toronto Area. This donation was unanimously approved by the Executive Council. Hundreds of families facing heightened food insecurity during the COVID19 pandemic, will benefit from urgently needed fresh food.
"Many thanks to the members of UTE Toronto North for the incredible donation towards FoodShare's Emergency Good Food Box initiative in response to COVID-19. We launched our rapid response effort on March 17th, 2020 to deliver boxes filled with fresh produce to folks facing heightened food insecurity during the pandemic. With the support of the UTE Toronto North, we will be able to provide over 200 families with a week's worth of high-quality fresh produce to help them through this difficult time. Thank you for standing in solidarity with those navigating this challenging time." Paul Taylor, Executive Director, FoodShare Toronto