Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia is delivering thousands of meals to those in need
Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia has not only been delivering meals to healthcare workers during the pandemic, but also to both staff and residents at long-term care facilities, food banks and women, youth and homeless shelters, through his foundation’s Meals On The Move Campaign.
“A lot of people lost their income, a lot of people were out of jobs and just the smallest thing of getting food on the table was trying at the best of times,” said Rinku Ghei, Bhatia’s spokesperson.
“Let's thank the frontline workers, but let's not forget that there's a ton of people in the community that also need food.”
Bhatia and Ghei – along with their three-person team, Moe Sheikh, Kashif Sheikh and Amir Shamsi – have also teamed up with HGTV’s Sangita Patel, Peel Regional police and the Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie in order to determine the facilities in need.
Serving around 500 hot meals a day from a food truck, Ghei estimates they’ve delivered over 10,000 meals since they started four weeks ago.
Ghei says the initiative was originally started to help those in their own backyard of Mississauga and Brampton, but it has now extended as far as Branford and Niagara.
It was also just supposed to be a three-week operation and they're now fully booked up until mid June. Ghei says they'll continue as long as the need is there.
“When we show up at the food bank, there's usually a line up of 200 people out front waiting for a meal," he said. "And we're not talking just homeless or the people that you’d maybe envision needing the food bank - It could be your neighbour.”
Restaurants across the GTA including Paramount Fine Foods, Wimpy's Diner and Silver Spoon have donated meals, alongwith a host of others.
Ghei says local restaurants that want to be part of the initiative but aren’t able to offer all the meals for the day could alternatively offer them at a discounted rate or donate to the Mississauga Food Bank.
“That's been the biggest thing is just the outpouring of the community saying, ‘Hey, what can we do to help you guys?’” Ghei said. “It’s been a great thing to see just how much we can come together to help each other through this.”
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