CBC Toronto's annual Sounds of the Season raises more than $1M in food bank donations

·2 min read
This year's special broadcast of CBC Radio's Metro Morning featured a small number of live performers and a physically distanced audience of essential workers. (Martin Trainor/CBC - image credit)
This year's special broadcast of CBC Radio's Metro Morning featured a small number of live performers and a physically distanced audience of essential workers. (Martin Trainor/CBC - image credit)

For the second year in a row, CBC Toronto's annual Sounds of the Season fundraiser passed the million dollar mark in donations for food banks in the GTA.

The month-long event raised $1,029,539, which benefits food banks across the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions.

A total of 63,000 pounds, or more than 28,576 kilograms, of non-perishable food was also collected.

The food banks say the donations will provide a million meals to people experiencing food insecurity.

"Just before the launch of CBC's Sounds of the Season, we saw over 126,000 food bank visits … the largest number of monthly visits ever recorded in our city's history," said Neil Hetherington, CEO of the Daily Bread Food Bank.

"Regrettably, we are forecasting that number will likely rise given the financial impacts of the latest wave of COVID," said Hetherington.

Sounds of the Season kicked off as usual at the beginning of December with a special broadcast of CBC Radio's Metro Morning from the Glenn Gould Studio.

This year's production featured a small number of live performers and a physically distanced audience of essential workers.

"This was the second year we modified Sounds of the Season to adapt to pandemic guidelines," said Ruth Zowdu, Senior Managing Director for CBC Ontario.

"We have continued to focus on stories of food insecurity in the GTA where the need is larger than ever. It's very moving to see CBC audiences pitch in to help neighbours across the region who are struggling to feed themselves and their families," said Zowdu.

For the first time, CBC Toronto also held physically distanced drive-through food donation events at two locations in the GTA: with the Daily Bread Food Bank at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and at the Knights Table Food Bank in Brampton.

Hetherington said the food banks will have specific uses for the donations in the months ahead.

"We'll be buying more and more food, continuing to offer fresh produce through our Farm to Food Bank program and continuing to be part of a coalition that shares our vision of a city without poverty," he said.

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