The London Business Cares Food Drive wraps up for 2022 with hundreds of bins of food donations and multiple check presentations.
For the man behind the food drive, the sight of a crowded space at the Agriplex in the Western Fair District is overwhelming.
“What impresses me and what I really feel so deeply about is just the kindness that is shown every year,” said Wayne Dunn, campaign chair for Business Cares.
In total, £550,650 worth of food and food equivalent has been raised from cash donations – going to the London Food Bank and the 30+ programs and organizations it supports.
The friendliness is evident throughout the room as not only company managers but also union leaders, students and, in perhaps a very heartfelt moment, children lend a helping hand.
Just before an interview with CTV London, Dunn’s own granddaughter surprised him with a handful of loose change.
The general generosity is an example of Londoners coming together, according to Mayor Josh Morgan.
“It’s a magical thing happening in our community,” Morgan told a crowd of about 100 people. He added: “You should talk about it over dinner. That you should talk about it with your kids, that you should talk about it with your friends. That you should tell others, London can be proud of that!”
The Mayor of London Josh Morgan addresses attendees at the Business Cares Food Drive closing event on December 21, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)Certainly Jane Roy, Co-Executive Director of the London Food Bank, is proud of Forest City.
Roy said the response was vital as the food bank saw its highest-ever volumes for the past month.
These days, it’s not just people without a home or rent who are looking for help. The panel also supports homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages.
“Demand has increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year. We’re all feeling it in terms of inflation, particularly food inflation,” Roy said.
Rising costs and a changing economy have also hit some companies that support business cares.
“We’ve lost or reduced some pretty big partners,” admitted Dunn. “They may be gone for a year or so, but they will be back.”
And Dunn too.
“I still feel like I have gas in the tank,” he said when discussing his return for a 24th year in 2023.
Students who have worked as volunteers at Business Cares Food Drive share their experiences with Chair Wayne Dunn., the organization’s chair. (Sean Irvine/CTV London)