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08/17/2022

Amazon Canada commits $80,000 to Canadian food banks

The funding will prop up an employee-led volunteer initiative to assist the record number of people using food banks amid soaring housing costs, inflation and stagnant incomes

Who: Amazon Canada

What: The e-giant has committed to donate $80,000 to local food banks experiencing an increase in demand

The injection strengthens an employee-led initiative to support eight food banks in Beauharnois, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver as part of Amazon’s Global Month of Volunteering.  

From Aug. 15 to Sept.16, Amazon staff will volunteer with organizations and causes they’re passionate about within their own communities.

In May, food banks in Canada reported about 160,000 monthly visits, up from a monthly average of 60,000 visits pre-pandemic, per the CBC.

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"The rising inflation we are witnessing in Canada contributes to insecurity and hunger at a scale that we have not seen in a long time," said Kate Ramanchuk, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) territory account manager in Toronto, who helped organize the volunteer program, in a release. "Food banks are crucial in addressing this need.”

Marie-Josée Warrant, the enterprise sales rep for AWS in Montreal, is also leading the initiative. 

"Not only are employees volunteering, but they also contribute via non-perishable food and monetary donations, which will go a long way in the fight against hunger here in Canada,” Warrant said. 

According to research conducted this year on behalf of Food Banks Canada, 20% of Canadians reported going hungry at least once between March 2020 and March 2022, while 23% reported eating less than they believe they should because there wasn't enough money for food.

The food banks receiving support from Amazon are Moisson Sud Ouest in Beauharnois, Moisson Québec, Moisson Montréal, the Ottawa Foodbank, the Red Cross in Toronto, Second Harvest in Toronto, the Calgary Foodbank and the Greater Vancouver Foodbank

"The volunteer hours from Amazon Canada's employees are invaluable, as the program has been structured to rely quite heavily on volunteer corporate participation to assist with some of the key daily operations of the program, like sorting and packing donated food," stated Emilie Gamelin, manager of corporate partnerships for Red Cross Toronto.