Originally published in Renters News Magazine
Thanks to the hard work of thousands of volunteers, including employees and residents of more than 1000 GTA apartment buildings, the 2008 Annual Spring HOPE Food Drive, which took place on April 8, 2008, amassed a record breaking 262,499 lbs. of food collected in a 24 hour period. The previous record of 221,028.85 lbs. of food was collected in 24 hours by Regina and District Food Bank in October of 2006.
Fifty volunteer drivers started at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, and worked through the night, collecting donations throughout the City and hauling the food to the Daily Bread Bank’s west end warehouse, where it was weighed, recorded by a panel of independent referees and moved to a nearby, secure storage area. The Spring HOPE Food Drive, spearheaded by Bonnie Hoy, President of Bonnie Hoy & Associates, submitted the results of the food drive to Guinness and is awaiting official confirmation.
“The success of this year’s Annual Spring HOPE Food Drive is a testament to the hard work and combined efforts of the people who were truly responsible for the success of the Food Drive – The GTAA, FRPO, the landlords, the residents and the thousands of volunteers who came together to support this important cause,” said Bonnie Hoy, Event Coordinator. Hoy founded the Annual Spring HOPE Food Drive in 2000, when her young daughter suggested organizing food drives in apartment buildings where a large amount of donors can be accessed.
Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Daily Bread Food Bank expressed the organization’s gratitude for the support of the Spring HOPE Food Drive. “With almost a million residents in the GTA dependent on food banks, the involvement of good corporate citizens and members of the broader community in helping combat hunger is vitally important.
Brad Butt, GTAA President and CEO was ebullient with the results: “We are thrilled to have been able to again support Daily Bread Food Bank and their partner organizations with their spring food drive. Breaking the Guinness World Record is a nice bonus.” Numberous industry supporters of the annual Spring HOPE Food Drive were also exceedingly generous in contributing thousands of pounds of dried goods that were delivered to the daily Bread Food Bank.
Last year, over 905,000 people in the GTA relied on food banks for all or part of their sustenance, 34 percent of those clients were children. Daily Bread and its member agencies serve the majority of these people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 160 member agencies. The food collected in the Food Drive will be split amongst Toronto, Mississauga and North York.
This is the eighth annual food drive supported by the GTAA. The 10,000 volunteers who tirelessly promote the drive, canvas apartments for donations and deliver the food, and the generous residents of the 160,000 apartments who donated food and contributed their time, effort and energy to ensure its success should be congratulated for their incredible generosity of spirit.