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Metro donating perishables as Toronto-area stores stay closed during strike

A Toronto-based food bank confirmed Metro is donating perishables to its organization as nearly 30 locations stay shuttered while workers continue to strike.

Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington told Newstalk1010 that drivers are picking up shipments of perishables on Tuesday from approximately two dozen Metro locations, of the 27 stores currently closed in the Toronto-area.

“When you think about all the fresh food, the meat, the spoil that will happen, we want to ensure that it doesn't happen and that it gets to individuals who are experiencing hunger in our city, and that number continues to rise,” Hetherington said Tuesday morning.

Metro confirmed food set to spoil during the labour dispute has been transferred to other store locations, with the remaining supply donated to food banks, including Daily Bread, since the weekend.

Thousands of Metro employees formally walked off the job on Saturday after rejecting a collective bargaining deal reached the previous week.

Hetherington said the additional load of food from the grocery chain – particularly, the chicken and meat products with a looming expiry date – will head to the Daily Bread’s massive offsite freezer

“We will make sure that they are, that the food chain is appropriate, and that it's safe, and we will freeze that and get it out to two individuals at the right counter,” he said.

Workers are seen on strike on a picket line outside a Metro grocery store in Toronto as workers rejected a tentative deal triggering a strike of nearly 3,700 grocery store workers in the Greater Toronto Area, Saturday, July 29, 2023..THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole BurstonReliance on food banks and other food charities is expected to increase by 60 per cent this year, following a 134 per cent growth of food program dependency in 2022, according to a report released in January.

In addition to the management team at Metro, Hetherington expressed gratitude for the workers striking who have allowed trucks to pass through their picket line and reach people across the city as soon as possible.

The Daily Bread Food Bank supports 200 food banks, from Scarborough to Etobicoke, which collectively serves 270,000 people. Top Stories

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