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Coronavirus: Toronto libraries being turned into food banks for vulnerable residents

Toronto looks to address food security concerns during coronavirus pandemic
WATCH: With nearly half of the Toronto’s COVID-19 deaths originating in long-term care homes and retirement centres, the medical officer of health addressed family concerns. Meanwhile, the City is making efforts to ensure the vulnerable have access to food. Matthew Bingley reports.

The City of Toronto has started to convert its closed libraries to food banks to help those more vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor John Tory said nine food banks will be opened in total across the city. Four have been opened and two more will follow suit on Tuesday.

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According to the City of Toronto website, the first location opened on March 25 in partnership with the North York Harvest Food Bank. The next three locations were in partnership with the Daily Bread Food Bank.

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Tory said the decision was made “in an effort to ensure that the food needs of vulnerable residents continue to be met,” after almost 40 per cent of food bank programs in the city have been closed due to COVID-19.

The mayor said companies like Sobeys and Loblaws have also donated food and other supplies.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Toronto announces partnership to ensure food banks, drop-ins continue
Coronavirus outbreak: Toronto announces partnership to ensure food banks, drop-ins continue

Libraries were among the first businesses forced to close during the pandemic in Toronto and the province.

The City said it will also be creating more food bank-type locations in Toronto Community Housing buildings and other community centres where vulnerable residents reside.