Originally posted at torontopolice.on.ca by Ron Fanfair
Sgt. Jeffrey Zammit and Const. Anthony Lefrancois, of 14 Division, joined city councillors Michael Thompson and Mark Grimes last week, helping turn over 15,000 pounds of donated food to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
The presentation was made at Muzik, the entertainment facility located at the former Horticulture Building at Exhibition Place.
Late last year, Muzik owner Zlatko Starkovski came up with the idea of having nightclub patrons bring a non-perishable food item instead of paying a monetary cover charge.
His staff bought into the concept and, last November 18, Muzik – which hosts concerts, photo shoots and corporate and special events – collaborated with Thompson and his Project Engagement organization along with the Toronto Police Service, on the Daily Bread Food Bank donation drive.
“We wanted to give back to the community by leveraging our clients and patrons and also educating them about the importance of the Daily Bread Food Bank,” said Starkovski.
“All year, we work hard and I thought it was time for us to give back with the holidays around the corner and a lot of people who are depending on a handout.
“Many of our patrons loved the idea and they brought a canned product and other non-perishable items and were able to gain admission here with that instead of paying $20 to come in,” he said.
“We received about 1,000 pounds of food every week and we extended the deadline to January 15 because of the success of the project.”
Thompson, who is also the vice-chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, said he was delighted to be part of the project.
“We recognize there is a great need out there and through our relationship with Muzik, we were able to get this project up and going,” said Thompson.
“These are the kinds of things we are going to be doing more of so that we can create more sustainability and more assurance that there is food for needy Torontonians. When that occurs, all the other pieces like education will fall into place.
“When you have healthy and happy people, the focus will not be on where the next meal is coming from and when,” said Thompson who, along with businessman Vince Gasparro, established Project Engagement in 2006. The not-for-profit agency helps provide food, clothing and other household necessities to families in need across Toronto and the GTA. With the help of the community and 41 Division officers, volunteers help pack and deliver food hampers to needy families in the city during the Christmas holidays.