Thousands of homemade meals donated to local food banks

A Simcoe County radio station has brought together restaurants, businesses and food banks to bring a little bit of joy during the pandemic.

Three months ago, Bounce Radio 104.1 started a program called Feeding Families intended to have businesses donate $600 to a local restaurant, which then, in turn, prepares dozens of meals for a local food bank.

"When we started, we were like maybe we can do this for three weeks and get like three businesses to help out in Midland, Orillia and Barrie, wouldn't that be awesome," said Bounce radio morning host Meg Whitton.

According to Whitton, the program exploded in popularity and raised more than $80,000 for restaurants in Simcoe County and provided more than 5,500 meals to local food banks.

"No one thought this would happen," Whitton said.

Since Feeding Families began, Debbie Coote, a bistro and catering company owner in Alliston, Ont., has provided meals to food banks on three occasions. On Monday, she loaded up a truck with dozens of meals to take to Barrie Food Bank.

"Today, we're having basil chicken with fettuccini Alfredo— broccoli, carrots, homemade dinner rolls and an assortment of squares and cookies," said Coote, Malikai inc. Bistro and Catering owner.

The Barrie Foodbank said it had received hundreds of meals since the program's inception.

At a time when spirits are low due to the pandemic, the executive director of the food bank said these meals go a long way to brightening client's days.

"Homemade food, really nicely prepared, and fulsome meals. It's just a real treat for them," said Sharon Palmer, Barrie Foodbank executive director.

If you're a business or restaurant owner or someone looking to contribute to the Feeding Families program, visit iHeartRadio's Bounce Radio 104.1 to sign up.