Metrolinx staff spread holiday cheer by the bus load

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way everyone works and lives, but it hasn’t slowed the demands on Ontario charities. Food banks in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are busier than ever and Metrolinx staff are working to meet the demand.

(Editor’s note on Jan 6, 2021 – More than 1,500 pounds of non-perishable goods were donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank as a result of the effort described below. It did, indeed, fill a GO bus. As well, nearly $2,500 was donated directly to the cause.)

Like all things in 2020, holiday food drives are adapting to our new reality.

From physical distancing, to masks and hand sanitizer, Metrolinx staff are well accustomed to safety in the COVID-19 era. Thousands of transit workers haven’t stopped since the pandemic began, working to keep other essential staff moving.

So, this year Metrolinx’s employee food drive had a new spin. A group of crafty employees launched a mobile food drive aiming to “fill-a-bus” – a GO bus to be exact.

They made more than 20 stops across the region over three days, loading up non-perishable goods from locations most convenient for staff to connect with.

Building from a recently launched partnership with Purolator’s Mobile Quick Stop, GO customers who normally pick-up or drop off parcels before heading onto a train, met the Purolator teams with food donations of their own.

red bags could be seen loading into the special edition buses and Purolator Quick Stops throughout the fill-a-bus food drive campaign
Part of the long-standing Purolator Tackle Hunger program, red bags could be seen loading into the special edition buses and Purolator Mobile Quick Stops throughout the fill-a-bus campaign (Metrolinx photo).

All the items collected will be making their way to the Daily Bread Food Bank on December 23.

The Daily Bread helps 173 food programs and 118 agencies across Toronto, including food banks and drop-in meal programs

In 2020, they served the highest number of clients in their history as an organization, which was founded in 1983.

Since the COVID pandemic began, the Daily Bread Food Bank has increased their food distribution by 46 per cent. To find out more about what these numbers add up to, just click here.

Story by Peter Bailey, Metrolinx manager of digital public engagement, with files from Erin Duffy, Metrolinx corporate citizenship senior advisor