food for the ltc frontline

Paramount Fine Foods CEO donating 30,000 meals to frontline workers in Toronto

Frontline workers in long-term care homes have been risking their lives to take care of the province's most vulnerable residents for months, and a new campaign aims to give back to them in a small yet meaningful way.

Earlier this month, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods Mohamad Fakih partnered with SEIU Healthcare, the union representing more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario, to launch Food for the LTC Frontline — a campaign to provide hot meals to those working one the front lines of the crisis in LTC homes. 

"We are so much in debt to all of the frontline health workers who are attending to our seniors in long-term care homes during the tragedy that is unfolding again during this massive second wave of the pandemic,"said Fakih in a statement.

"We want to show our support and gratitude to these workers by delivering free hot meals to them during this extraordinarily difficult time. I grew up believing that how we care for our seniors says a lot about us and our community: And the way to impact that right now is to treat our seniors' caregivers well, with respect and appreciation."

On Monday, the first batch of meals went out to workers at Extendicare in Mississagua as well as two other LTC homes, and Fakih said in a video posted to Twitter Sunday that the 500 meals he was in the midst of perparing were in honour of Yassin Dabeh — the 19-year-old refugee who worked as a LTC cleaner and recently died of COVID-19.

But while hundreds of hot meals have already been donated to LTC homes across the GTA, the objective is to expand the reach of the program for the remainder of the current surge as additional donations and resources come in. 

Ultimately, the goal is to deliver 30,000 meals over the next two months.

Fakih has partially funded the campaign himself, but he's also relying on donors such as Islamic Relief Canada as well as any generous individuals who wish to donate.

Anyone interested in giving money to the initiative can do so online.

"This moment calls on us to do all we can to support our healthcare heroes on the frontline who are bearing a financial, emotional, and health burden during this ongoing crisis," said President of SEIU Healthcare Sharleen Stewart in a statement.

"It's past time we better care for those who care for us. I thank Mohamad for his generosity to fund this initiative, along with other donors such as Islamic Relief Canada. We know this will warm the hearts of our members serving on the frontline of long term care."

Lead photo by

Jennifer Evans

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