Generous St. Patrick Day parade attendees on Sunday donated 154 kilograms (345 pounds) of food and $900 – enough to provide over 900 meals – to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank. For the second year, volunteers from Toronto Paramedic Services and the Toronto Paramedic Association collected food bank donations along the parade route. Last year about 500 kilograms (1,130 pounds) of food were donated and this year a combination of cash and food donations exceeded that amount.
“On behalf of the men and women of Toronto Paramedic Services, I want to thank the parade organizers for allowing us to give back to our community by participating in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities,” said Chief Paul Raftis. “Also, I’d like to thank the people of Toronto who generously supported our annual food drive during the parade.”
“I am thrilled with the response this year,” said Geoff MacBride, President of the Toronto Paramedic Association. “Paramedics feel compelled to give back to our community as we see the need for good nutrition every day as we enter residents’ homes to help our patients. This donation will help many families using food banks in our city.”
“I hope this tradition of giving will continue as part of next year’s parade,” said Alan Louthe, St. Patrick Day Parade Chair. We are pleased and grateful for the generous response from our loyal parade attendees to our donation request.”
Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank said, “Donations of this size are always needed. A contribution at this time of year is a great way to start our Spring Drive.”
Toronto’s paramedics have been part of the St. Patrick Day Parade since its inception. The Toronto Paramedic Services participates annually in the parade with its Honour Guard and display of service vehicles. In 2014, the Toronto Paramedic Association joined the parade and with support of the parade organizers and Toronto Paramedic Services took the lead to organize the food bank drive.