Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

Adair Roberts, centre, who started a fundraising initiative for food delivery, helps volunteers and staff members package food from Afghan Kebob Cuisine, prior to being delivered to elderly members of the Rexdale community, at the Delta Family Resource Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., on Aug. 12, 2020.

Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

The organizer: Adair Roberts

The pitch: Creating Feed the Frontlines

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, Adair Roberts called a friend in New York who ran a restaurant and suggested a proposal.

Story continues below advertisement

“I called him and said ‘I know this is going to be a difficult time for you and I have this idea,’” Ms. Roberts recalled from her home in Toronto. Ms. Roberts works as a consultant in the mental-health field and she offered to find some local hospitals in New York that would be interested in receiving meals from the restaurant. “I’ll donate the funds to buy the meals and you deliver them,” she told her friend. “And that’s what we did.”

The program worked so well that Ms. Roberts started the service in Toronto. She lined up three restaurants, found a handful of hospitals eager to receive the meals and then started fundraising. Within a few days she’d raised $3,500, which was enough for three meal deliveries. “It just started rolling from there,” she said. She has now raised more than $500,000 and delivered more than 20,000 meals to 53 hospitals and health care organizations. The number of restaurants supplying the food has grown to seven and they were able to bring back 25 staff.

Every $20 donation buys one individually packed meal and Ms. Roberts’s team of helpers has increased to around a dozen.

She’s started a new venture with the Toronto Rexdale Community Hub, which provides a range of local services. They’ve partnered with four Rexdale restaurants to provide culturally-preferred meals to people who have no access to kitchen space or who are too frail to cook. So far they have identified 350 households and begun delivering two meals a week.

Ms. Roberts hopes to raise another $500,000 to expand the Rexdale project to three meals a week and fund services elsewhere in the city. She doesn’t expect to be doing this long term and hopes the success of Feeding the Frontlines will encourage other organizations to take over the idea. “Let’s show this works and then let’s share it with the city,” she said.

She added that she has been overwhelmed by the number of people who have donated and offered to help. “It’s amazing,” she said. “We really want to just help during this time and share what we learned.”


Follow related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies