Funds aimed at helping relieve hunger in vulnerable communities across Canada
Mississauga, ON, June 29, 2020 – AstraZeneca Canada and its employees announced a donation of over $75,000 to Food Banks Canada’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Over the past three months, AstraZeneca Canada launched several initiatives to support Food Banks Canada – including a 2:1 corporate-employee donation matching campaign and a virtual fundraising concert. This donation will help relieve hunger and support the important work of food banks across the country.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are extending well-beyond healthcare with many Canadians experiencing serious economic and social impacts,” says Jane Chung, President, AstraZeneca Canada. “Supporting the health and well-being of people is central to our purpose, so during this challenging time, when many Canadians are experiencing hunger, our employees have come together to help make a difference by supporting Food Banks Canada.”
Food banks across Canada have seen an unprecedented need for support, with drastic reductions in their ability to recover food and a significant drop in volunteers due to social distancing measures. Yet, these food banks continue to work tirelessly on the front lines helping to support Canadians who are struggling to put food on the table.
"Food insecurity is a year-round reality for Canadians who made 1.1 million visits to food banks monthly before COVID-19 and the pandemic has added significant pressure on the ability of food banks to meet the needs of the country’s vulnerable communities," said Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada. “The donation from AstraZeneca and its employees will enable local food banks to adapt their client delivery processes, manage increased demand, and purchase much needed staples.”
Canadians that wish to donate to Food Banks Canada’s COVID-19 Response Fund may do so online by visiting foodbankscanada.ca.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AstraZeneca Canada has taken a number of steps to support Canadians in need including:
- The donation of 200,000 surgical masks to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and a contribution to an industry-wide donation of 100,000 N95 masks to PHAC to be distributed to front-line healthcare workers in areas of Canada with the greatest need.
- Donating to the Canadian Red Cross to support their COVID-19 response efforts in Canada, including: helping indigenous communities prepare for and respond to the pandemic, providing needed supplies to vulnerable populations, offering telephone assurance and friendly phone calls to isolated Canadians, and augmenting the existing health infrastructure with its Emergency Field Hospital.
- Matching employee donations to Canadian charitable organizations and providing employees with a total of 5 volunteering days in 2020, enabling AstraZeneca employees to provide support to a charitable organization of their choice.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada provides national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network from coast-to-coast-to-coast. For 40 years, food banks have been dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. Over 3,000 food banks and community agencies come together to serve our most vulnerable neighbours who – last year – made 1.1 million visits to these organizations in one month alone, according to our HungerCount report. Over the past 10 years, as a system we’ve sourced and shared over 1.4 billion pounds of food and Food Banks Canada shared nearly $70 million in funding to help maximize collective impact and strengthen local capacity – while advocating for reducing the need for food banks. Our vision is clear: create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Visit www.foodbankscanada.ca to learn more.
About AstraZeneca Canada
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines that transform lives. Our primary focus is on three important areas of healthcare: Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolic (CVRM) disease; Oncology; and Respiratory & Immunology. In Canada, we employ more than 875 employees across the country with our headquarters located in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information, visit our website at www.astrazeneca.ca.