Longo’s Pledges Support to Ontario Food Banks Through Neighbour in Need Program

TORONTO, May 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market (“Longo’s”) announced today the relaunch of its Neighbour in Need program, which seeks to combat food insecurity in Ontario by providing essential items to local food banks.    

First established by Longo’s in 2009, the Neighbour in Need program is a bi-annual fundraising event that encourages guests to purchase pre-assembled bags of essential items. These items are then donated to local non-profits and food banks, including Second Harvest and Churches on-the-Hill Foodbank.

Each bag is filled with much-needed items, including shelf-stable vegetables and grains. Each bag can provide up to nine meals.

“We are incredibly proud of this wonderful program that helps address food insecurity head-on,” said Rosanne Longo, Spokesperson & Chair, Longo's Family Charitable Foundation. “Thanks to all of our guests who donate each year, our Neighbour in Need program has supplied over 170,000 bags of food to local food banks and provided healthy meals to more than one million people across Ontario. This year, the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation has pledged to match donations up to $100,000 and has set a goal of donating 250,000 meals to Ontario food banks.”

Longo’s is aligning its relaunch with Giving Tuesday, which takes place May 5th this year and is a day marked by global giving and unity.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt drastically by everyone, but no one is harder hit than the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Rosanne Longo. “We are seeing more people turn to the food banks as food insecurity rises in every corner of the planet. As an essential service that has been fortunate to continue operations, Longo’s wants to ensure that we are investing in the people and communities that surround us.”

In 2019, more than 500,000 people sought support from local food banks in Ontario. A staggering 33% of those were children.

Guests will be encouraged to donate a $5.99 or $11.99 bag at the checkout at any of the 37 Longo’s locations. They will also have the option to add a donation to their online order through Longo’s grocery delivery arm, Grocery Gateway.

“We are very grateful to the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation for their Neighbour in Need program which provides healthy pantry staples and meal starters like pasta, legumes, tuna, and canned tomatoes. These are always useful for any kitchen, but in these uncertain times, our food program partners benefit from having healthy food that can be used right away or banked for future needs. We are also grateful to Longo’s generous customers for purchasing and donating these bags – on behalf of your neighbours in need, thank you,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest.

The Neighbour in Need program will run until May 10, at which time donations will be assembled and donated directly to food banks throughout May.

“We want to thank everyone who donates each year to this important cause,” said Rosanne Longo. “We firmly believe it’s the collaborative and sustained efforts of many individuals over time that will ultimately help us combat hunger and achieve food security for our future.”

About Longo’s Brothers Fruit Market
Longo’s is a family-owned Canadian organization that started in 1956 when three brothers, Tommy, Joe and Gus opened their first fruit market. What began as a small family-run store has since grown to a company that operates 37 stores in communities across Toronto and the GTA, as well as Grocery Gateway, the leader in online sales of home-delivered groceries.

Today, Longo’s maintains the same family-based values as they did over 60 years ago, putting Family Standards at the heart of everything they do. Longo’s is proud to serve their guests the quality standard of food we believe every family deserves, and to give back to the communities we operate in through the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation.

Media Contact:
Delia Loveless
Public Relations

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/30c95027-c3f0-4821-8c34-2c7176ae29ec

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