Toronto is turning public library branches into food banks
Food banks across Toronto have seen a major increase in demand since the pandemic began and many have been forced to close, which is precisely why Toronto is turning several public library branches into food bank distribution centres.
Toronto Mayor John Tory made the announcement during his daily press briefing Monday afternoon, indicating that there will eventually be nine new food banks in TPL locations across the city.
We've partnered with the North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to set up food bank distribution from library branches across the city. Staff are proud to support the City’s broader work on food security. https://t.co/ZVeAcNWmqv pic.twitter.com/H8UCfXzb87— Toronto Public Library (@torontolibrary) April 6, 2020
Tory said the first four food banks are already open, while two more are set to open to the public on Tuesday. The first location opened on March 25 in partnership with the North York Harvest Food Bank, and three opened this past week in partnership with the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Starting April 7, food banks will be available at six TPL locations: 155 Bonis Ave. (Fridays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), 1515 Albion Rd. (by appointment), 545 Markham Rd. (Tuesdays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), 430 Burnhamthorpe Rd. (Fridays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), 2380 Eglinton Ave. East (Tuesdays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and 375 Bamburgh Circle (Fridays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.).
Three more TPL locations are also set to open food banks at a later date and you'll eventually be able to find their hours and addresses online.
"We are incredibly proud to be partnering with North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity on our city," said City Librarian Vickery Bowles, in a statement.
"Our library branches are community hubs, and our staff are dedicated public servants committed to supporting those communities, so redirecting library resources to help address this critical need makes so much sense."
Toronto also announced today that they'll be facilitating food banks in some Toronto Community Housing buildings for tenants, and in specific community centres where possible.
They're also working with community and corporate partners to ensure that food banks, multi-service centres, home delivery programs and meal drop-ins can meet the needs of Toronto’s most vulnerable.
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