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Rogers, Food Banks Step Up To The Plate for Albertans in need

Last Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 1:39 pm MST

The Rogers Communications sign is marks the company's headquarters in Toronto, April 25, 2012. The Rogers family is making a $60-million community donation to various charities across Canada to help those hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Rogers Communications’ will team up local food banks in the province to help support at least 56,000 Albertans.

Partnering with Food Banks Canada, Step Up To The Plate aims to deliver food hampers to Alberta homes.

These will provide more than one million meals across the province.

Larry Goerzen, President of Alberta and Prairies with Rogers Communications, said it’s their responsibility to step up and pitch in.

“Rogers has a long legacy of supporting our communities and giving back. This is our 60th year as a company – certainly a year like no other – and we are here to roll up our sleeves and get to work so we can come through this together.”

Step Up To The Plate began in June at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

Step Up To The Plate

Rogers employee volunteers filled food hampers with enough non-perishable food items to feed an individual for one week.

In Alberta, volunteers partnered with the food banks in Calgary and Edmonton to organize and prepare thousands of hampers.

Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kaycee Madu said the initiative comes at a critical time.

“At a time when so many families are struggling, the company is stepping up to assist our most vulnerable. Our government commends Rogers for all their hard work and community efforts in Alberta.”

By the end of the summer, the initiative will provide an unprecedented eight million meals to needy Canadians.

Food Banks Canada said the economic impact to over 3000 food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic was significant.

This includes a decrease in volunteers and donations, reduced hours of operation, and an increase in clients.

Marjorie Bencz, CM, Executive Director of Edmonton’s Food Bank said their doors will remain open.

“Prior to COVID-19, Edmonton’s Food Bank was seeing more people in need and experienced our highest numbers on record [in] the first quarter of the year. The combined effect of the economic downturn and the pandemic, vulnerable Edmontonians are at a greater risk. We are fortunate to have Rogers’ commitment to help us serve our community.”

President and CEO of the Calgary Food Bank, James McAra also commended Rogers’ initiative and volunteer spirit.

“This donation will help us feed thousands of clients and is a great example of Rogers commitment to the community.”

Step Up To The Plate is part of Rogers’ THE 60 PROJECT,  which marks its 60th anniversary by donating time, money, and support to Canadian causes.

Partnerships include community organizations such as Food Banks Canada, Women’s Shelters Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Pflag.

Rogers estimated its employee volunteers will amass 60,000 volunteer hours through Step Up To The Plate and other initiatives this year.