It is almost unbelievable to think that a year has gone by since the Province of Ontario implemented safety protocols to manage the spread of the virus to protect its citizens.
We felt the impact immediately at 5n2 in the way we prepare meals for our clients going from large trays feeding 35 people down to individual portions in recyclable single use containers. This increased our costs and preparation time. As many of our volunteers are seniors, we were faced with a reduced number of volunteers to get the meals ready and to assist in other work at the kitchen. We also had less food rescue donations due to retail food establishment and restaurant closures. Yes, we did indeed face some challenges.
The pandemic has exposed food insecurity as an issue that is faced by many people living in Toronto, and statistics bear witness to an increase in number of visits to food banks and soup kitchens in 2020. By the end of 2020, we had doubled the number of meals we serve on a weekly basis and had added new locations for those in need in our community. We have adapted to the single use containers however there is still significant effort required in planning and scheduling deliveries to the various locations. We have grown, and we are introducing new programs this year. We are always looking for volunteers, food donations/ food rescue and monthly donors to keep us going one meal at a time.
We would not have been able to get through the past year without the support of our volunteers, partners, donors and grant makers. Onward with 2021!