In late March the effects of COVID-19 began to take hold in Brampton. The province’s decision to close all but essential services triggered an increased need for food for families. 
The Rotary Club of Brampton’s call to action was to help and the club donated $50,000 for the Regeneration Outreach Centre and, by reaching out to our members’ extensive business networks, the club was able to solicit an additional $35,000 in corporate support.
Regeneration was established in 1999 and serves breakfast and lunch 365 days a year. It also provides showers and other respite services to those in need. The recent closure of a major Brampton food bank, combined with the onset of the pandemic, resulted in a significant rise in demand for food.  Regeneration immediately sprang into action, set up an emergency food bank and called upon the community for support.
While Regeneration has partnered with existing food banks to maximize food sourcing they don’t have vans or drivers for day-to-day operations. In order for the money to have the greatest impact, the Rotary Club of Brampton also purchases and delivers the food. Every other Tuesday, Regeneration sends a list of food needs to Dittie Voegele, Club President and food drive organizer. Working with the local No Frills, Rotarians work with store staff to load bulk items for pick-up and delivery. The store has helpful, dedicated employees to process all orders.  
“Our club has long been a proud supporter of Regeneration and we are pleased to make this additional donation in these unforeseen times,“ says Dittie.   “This is so much more than just writing a cheque. Getting together as a team every two-weeks, working with our local No Frills buying the groceries, and delivering them to the centre helps us stay connected with each other and the community. While zoom meetings have been well prepared and well attended, our members are all missing the comradery we get from meeting in person. This is an excellent opportunity to be together safely in small groups and get to know each other.  We have met spouses, children and friends of Rotarians all wanting to lend a hand.”
To date, the Rotary Club of Brampton has purchased and delivered over 22,000 pounds of food and is hopeful that the funds will carry through until the fall. Also, Rotarians and their families are volunteering their time at the Regeneration Outreach food bank to help sort, pack and distribute food. 
Volunteers at the Regeneration food bank provide food for an average of 450 to 500 families each week. This number includes those who come to the food bank, persons who are isolated at home, and bulk orders for a number of community groups.  During the last week in June numbers served reached almost 600!  
The Rotary Club of Brampton has truly embraced the opportunity to help during these difficult times. It has also donated $50,000 to the William Osler Health System for PPE, as well as $20,000 to The Rotary Foundation to support international efforts to help fight COVID-19.