The Newmarket Food Pantry is among 36 food banks in York Region and across the GTA that have each received $7,500 from the Mount Pleasant Group to help meet the growing demand for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company, which owns and operates cemeteries, funeral homes and crematoria across the GTA, has donated a total of $270,000 to food banks, including in Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Concord, which have seen demand for their services double, triple or even quadruple during the last year, according to a news release.
As well as serving more residents, challenges faced by food banks include either losing volunteers or having to reduce volunteers to meet physical distancing requirements, as well as adjust their processes and invest in new infrastructure, PPE, tables and tents to distribute food safely.
“We are a community-based organization,” said Glenn McClary, president and CEO of Mount Pleasant Group. “Our staff live in the neighbourhoods we serve, and they see the impacts that COVID-19 is having on families every day. With these donations, we want to support those on the frontlines and give something back to our neighbours.”
Wherever possible, donations have been hand delivered safely to food banks by staff from the local Mount Pleasant Group cemetery or funeral home, he added.