What is "Bringing Toronto back to its feet"?

As our community works together to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, MLSE and its dedicated partners have teamed up to create community outreach programs and initiatives to help the City of Toronto get through this unprecedented time.

One of those initiatives is a large-scale meal program to support and thank Toronto’s front-line health workers and their families, and to protect the city’s most vulnerable. The goal of the community meal program is to prepare and deliver as many as 10,000 meals a day to local hospitals and community agencies.

Which partners are involved?

The founding partners in the community outreach effort are Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, Scotiabank and Tangerine bank.

In addition to the founding partners who initiated the program, a number of other important supporting partners provided financial assistance, services or food donations including the Team Toronto Fund, the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Association, Sobey’s, Sysco, Maple Lodge Farms, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Maple Leaf Foods and McCain Foods.

Is the meal program safe?

MLSE has worked with food hygiene experts and Toronto Public Health during the development of the program to ensure the safety of the meals and of the people who are working to prepare them.

How is the meal program executed?

Scotiabank Arena has been transformed into Toronto’s largest kitchen, with its numerous food preparation facilities and the arena floor being used to prepare and assemble the meal packages.

Second Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in Canada and MLSE’s long-time partner, along with a network of local suppliers and sponsors, are supplying fresh ingredients daily to the MLSE team.

MLSE’s chefs and food and beverage staff, along with employees from different departments within the company, are working together on this program as the company’s sports and entertainment operations are halted due to the pandemic.

How do you decide where the food goes?

MLSE and its teams have a long history of supporting hospital initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area, through annual team visits, event sponsorships and patient-focused programming.  MLSE has worked with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) to identify hospitals to participate in the program launch to deliver meals to front-line workers. We will work with the OHA to add hospital sites to the delivery plan as the program continues.

Second Harvest operates seven days a week and has a network of over 1,500 social service agencies across the country. Their network of Toronto-based agency partners and the thousands of individuals they collectively serve will benefit from the meal program created through Bringing Toronto back to its feet initiatives and programs.

How do I make a request for food delivery?

Hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area can indicate an interest in participating in the program by contacting MLSE so that a logistics survey can be completed prior to scheduling a future delivery.

Jason Schwabe
Manager, Community Relations

Are you accepting contributions to this program?

Yes, we will accept product contributions and we will route any financial contributions to our community partners. If you wish to speak with an MLSE representative supporting the program please contact Brianna.Chase@MLSE.com who will connect you with the appropriate contacts.

Is there an opportunity to volunteer?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help with the food program. To ensure that food and safety measures are met, and proper social distancing are intact during the process, we are not able to accept volunteers. We sincerely appreciate your continued support with Bringing Toronto back to its feet.