As she became aware of the spiralling number of York Region families needing help to put food on the table during the pandemic, Emma Dagher vowed to help.
The local resident asked businesses throughout the region to run food drives in support of the Food Bank of York Region (FBYR) — and Newmarket Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic was quick to step up.
“I started this initiative after reading an article which stated there was a 50 per cent increase in first-time food bank use during the state of emergency in York Region. I began approaching health and wellness businesses since they were some of the few still open during lockdown and most grocery stores are already collecting food bank donations,” said Dagher.
She has been dropping off food collection bins at participating businesses and continues to pitch more to get involved.
Dagher herself then collects and delivers all donations that each business and its customers contribute on weekly basis.
Other businesses that readily joined her in the mission to help local individuals and families who are struggling in the pandemic are Aurora Athletic Club, Lifespring Physiotherapy and St. Andrew's Chiropractic and Wellness, all in Aurora, and Healthy Planet Canada in Aurora, Richmond Hill and Markham.
“I'm blown away by the community's response. The participating businesses are enthusiastically supporting the initiative and contributing generously along with community members,” she said.
“Emma is a great example of a dedicated and committed community volunteer,” said Alex Bilotta, founder and CEO of the Food Bank of York Region. “She’s going out of her way for the greater good of others, to support and impact a cause right in our own backyard. We need more local heroes just like her, to get involved and join the fight against hunger in York Region."
The FBYR is the regional food hub network that sources, collects, warehouses and delivers surplus fresh, frozen and non-perishable food donations for more than 80 local frontline agencies, including Newmarket Food Pantry. For more information or ways to donate, visit www.fbyr.ca.