Longo's Brothers Fruit Market is addressing food insecurity with the relaunch of its bi-annual fundraiser "Neighbour in Need" program.
The grocer established the program in 2009 and it encourages shoppers to purchase pre-assembled bags of essential items that are then donated to local non-profits and food banks, such as Second Harvest and Churches on-the-Hill Foodbank.
Customers are encouraged to donate a $5.99 or $11.99 bag at the checkout at any of the 37 Longo’s locations. They also have the option to add a donation to their online order through Longo’s grocery delivery arm, Grocery Gateway.
Each bag, which can provide up to nine meals, is filled with much-needed items, including shelf-stable vegetables and grains.
“We are incredibly proud of this wonderful program that helps address food insecurity head-on,” says Rosanne Longo, spokesperson and chair, Longo's Family Charitable Foundation. “Thanks to all of our guests who donate each year, our Neighbour in Need program has supplied over 170,000 bags of food to local food banks and provided healthy meals to more than one million people across Ontario. This year, the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation has pledged to match donations up to $100,000 and has set a goal of donating 250,000 meals to Ontario food banks.”
Longo says that while the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by everyone, “no one is harder hit than the most vulnerable members of our communities. We are seeing more people turn to the food banks as food insecurity rises in every corner of the planet. As an essential service that has been fortunate to continue operations, Longo’s wants to ensure that we are investing in the people and communities that surround us.”
The Neighbour in Need program will run until May 10, at which time donations will be assembled and donated directly to food banks throughout May.
“We want to thank everyone who donates each year to this important cause,” says Longo. “We firmly believe it’s the collaborative and sustained efforts of many individuals over time that will ultimately help us combat hunger and achieve food security for our future.”