feed the frontlines

Frontline worker at Toronto hospital says homeless need free meals more than they do

Toronto restaurants and non-profit organizations have been showing tremendous support for the frontline staff who have been working tirelessly during the pandemic by donating food to hospitals across the city.

Sarah Mattok, who has been working as a nurse for 12 years at a downtown Toronto hospital and has been working throughout the pandemic, says the community’s generosity and support for her and her colleagues has been overwhelming.

“It’s wonderful that people recognize the work that we do in healthcare. Every person who works in the hospital works really hard to help our patients, and to keep everyone safe – it’s what we love to do actually, not just during this pandemic but every day.”

Though grateful for the support, Mattok says when food is donated to her hospital or she sees stories of this at other healthcare facilities, she can’t help but think of those who would benefit the most from these community donations.

“While we are getting so much from the community, some of our hardest hit patients aren’t getting anything like the same. Many people living in shelters or on the street are so marginalized, and sometimes they get overlooked.”

Mattok says it’s the city’s food banks, drop-ins and community organizations that are working to feed and support the homeless population that need food donations the most right now.

“We need to pay attention to people who are living on the street, who have nowhere to go and have no access to basic facilities like washrooms and a place to wash their hands," she said.

"We should remember the struggle of those living in the shelter and not being able to physically distance, or the many families with food insecurity." 

Mattok says she hopes the city will continue to pull together during this time and refocus the attention on these individuals who are struggling on a daily basis.

“I know that many of us feel that we are the lucky ones, with stability and security. I wish we could shift the focus on those who are at a very real risk right now,” she said.

 "If we all do a little bit to help each other, we can come out of this better and stronger.”

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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