Close to 300 families in the Greater Toronto Area were presented with food hampers over the Christmas holidays.
City councillor and Toronto Police Service Board chair Michael Thompson and Vince Gasparro have spearheaded the annual Project Engagement Christmas Drive for the past six years for needy residents.
Dozens of volunteers helped pack turkeys, chicken, hams, fresh produce and canned goods for distribution across the city. Brampton Mayor Susan Fennel sent a bus to pick up hampers for about 30 of her constituents.
“We have people outside our city who are having some challenges too,” said Thompson. “So we are trying to expand as much as we can to help as many of our fellow citizens. Many of us have much more than others; we waste a lot of things and we take many things for granted.
“It’s really important that we spend the time to actually help demonstrate that we care. We have a common purpose and a common cause as human beings to live well and ensure we bring others into the fold and help people.”
Canadian tennis player and Order of Canada recipient Daniel Nestor and Juno-award singer Liberty Silver, who sang the national anthem, volunteered their time at the community event.
Tennis Canada tournament director and former Jamaica champion Karl Hale accompanied Nestor.
“I am working with Councillor Thompson on a few things and when he mentioned this event, I told him I would like to be involved and I would bring Daniel because he relishes doing community projects like this,” said Hale.