Desjardins Insurance and its agent network have stepped in to provide financial assistance to local community food banks across Canada.
Foodbanks are struggling to meet demand after the Covid-19 hit food donations, prompting Desjardins Insurance to match financial donations of up to CA$1,000 given to community foodbanks by its local agents in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick.
The programme involved all 128 Desjardins Agents and helped to raise CA$227,730 in donations to 77 community food banks.
The insurer is also donating $100,000 to Food Banks Canada, a national charity that supports foodbanks and agencies at community level, bringing the total donation to $327,730.
Benaaz Irani, vice-president of the Desjardins Agent Network, said: “Local food banks have always been critically important to many communities across the country, but they are even more so now with the impacts we see on employment and the financial hardships many people are facing.
“Our local Desjardins Agents live and work in the communities they serve, and they know first-hand what their clients and communities are going through and the strain COVID-19 is putting on their local food banks.”
Food Banks Canada says Canadians made over 1.1 million visits to food banks every month in 2019 and the number could increase significantly over the coming months as the pandemic crisis continues.
“With Covid-19, providing food to those in need got a whole lot more difficult, but this donation from Desjardins Insurance will help us to meet that challenge,” said Chris Hatch, CEO of Food Banks Canada. “This contribution will help us support more than 3,000 community organisations who are helping Canadians every day.”
Desjardins Agents drove this project, taking the initiative to support their local food banks before Desjardins Insurance announced the matched funds.
“I’m so proud of what they’ve done, of how they’ve stepped up for their communities in this time of need,” added Ms Irani. “Desjardins Insurance was very happy to support their efforts.”
Desjardins Insurance forms part of the Desjardins Group, the sixth largest co-operative financial group in the world, with assets of CA$326.9bn.