March 10, 2019 3:53 pm
Updated: March 10, 2019 8:09 pm

Toronto paramedics kick off spring food drive at St. Patrick’s Day parade

WATCH: Toronto got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a full seven days early. And as Matthew Bingley reports, the event was a perfect springboard for a spring push for those in need.

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Toronto Paramedic Services is kicking off an unofficial spring food drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank as they march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Volunteers from the city’s paramedic services and the Daily Bread Food Bank are collecting food and cash donations for the sixth year in a row as part of the parade’s activities.

READ MORE: ‘The face of hunger is changing’: New report reveals food bank usage is on the rise in Toronto

The goal for this year’s drive is to raise more than last year’s 525 pounds of food and $7,987 in funds.

Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington said it’s the time of year when his organization starts its spring campaign, as Christmas holiday donations are depleting.

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Hetherington said donations are much-needed this time of year.

“We’re marshalling in spring and saying we can do this together as a community and provide food and hope to people in need,” he said.

Hetherington added that the need for food and cash donations is year-round for the food bank.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to be reminded that they can always give to the Daily Bread Food Bank because the need is not cyclical — the need does not increase or diminish at Thanksgiving or Christmas time,” he said.

READ MORE: Toronto food banks hopeful giving spirit will continue outside of holiday season

Over the past five years, Toronto paramedics have raised 4,860 pounds of food and $25,516 for the organization during St. Patrick’s Day parade celebrations.

Hetherington said last year, the city’s paramedics brought in about 1,000 pounds of food, and they hope to double their contribution at this year’s parade.

He said he’s grateful for emergency crews who take their time and do good beyond the work they already do for the city every day.

“It’s a great day for community-building. It’s a great day to say we care about our fellow Torontonian,” Hetherington said.

An ambulance full of food and cash donations will be delivered to the Daily Bread Food Bank on Monday.

With files from Matthew Bingley 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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