Our small business experience of COVID-19 lockdowns reminded us how fragile economic wellbeing can be. As it was for so many small business owners, especially in the hospitality sector, 18 months of close to zero business revenue was extremely painful. We cut back sharply on our family spending, not knowing when, or sometimes even if, our indoor golf business would reopen. However, we survived, and we’re relieved to now be open for the 2021/22 indoor golf season. But so many people have suffered such severe ongoing economic misfortune during COVID, that accessing enough food has become a daily challenge.
Especially in a modern, wealthy country like Canada, no one should ever go hungry. But food insecurity is widespread in our local communities and has grown in recent times. About four million Canadians can’t afford the food they need, with almost 1 in 5 Toronto households impacted.
The Daily Bread Food Bank in Etobicoke is at the forefront of the challenge to tackle food insecurity in the GTA. It was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of Canada’s largest food banks. From a 108,000 sq. ft distribution hub on New Toronto Street, it supplies food to nearly 200 food programs across Toronto. Daily Bread’s network is projecting to see 1.4 million client visits in 2021, the highest recorded in our city’s history.
We connected with Daily Bread in early summer 2021. We’ve established a connection whereby we’re going to brand our limited range of Swing Golf Lounge merchandise with both our logo and the Daily Bread logo. All profits related to merchandise sales will be donated to the Daily Bread. We hope our indoor golfing customers making purchases will be proud to know they’ve helped such an important local cause. We expect that to be a very long-term arrangement.
Since getting to know Sacha, their Senior Manager of Community Partnerships and Events, we’ve been able to learn more about the organization, and we’ve been very impressed. But more than anything, we were stunned when we were told they produce meals at an internal cost of $1 per meal. Quite an incredible efficiency! That motivated us, even more, to continue pursuing our small business endeavour with them that we’ll be announcing in more detail and more publicly in a couple of weeks.
For now, as we head into Thanksgiving and the holiday season ahead, our goal is to encourage as many indoor golfers as possible to bring with them non-perishable food for our yellow Daily Bread food bins. We’re very grateful for every donation, and to those customers who bring three food items, we’ll be discounting the first hour of golf by $5. We want to pile those bins full in the next few weeks – please help us achieve that!