Feeding Workers; Lifting Spirits

June 8, 2021

Princess Auto Foundation supports COVID fund again. And then again.

HSC staff receiving donated meal

This massive undertaking feeds our health-care heroes, offers compassion during a very trying time, and supports multiple local businesses.

When the HSC Foundation launched its COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund in the spring of 2020, the Princess Auto Foundation was one of the first donors to step forward with a major gift to support Health Sciences Centre in the battle against the pandemic.

The impact was profound, as the gift help set the tone for corporate giving to the fund and inspired other donations.

In November 2020, as the pandemic intensified in Manitoba, the Princess Auto Foundation stepped forward again with a second major gift, this time earmarked for the Feeding the Frontlines initiative providing meals to health care workers at HSC. In May, as the third wave tightened its grip, the Princess Auto Foundation once again upped their commitment to Feeding the Frontlines.

“The morale lift has been huge,” says Evelyn Casey, Manager, Volunteer Services and Spiritual Health Services at HSC. “I think everyone here was floored when the meals kept coming. We haven’t had the same access to food services here during the pandemic, so people have been very excited and very grateful when the meals come in.”

Evelyn Casey and her team

Evelyn Casey, Manager, Volunteer Services and Spiritual Health Services at HSC (back far-left corner), and her team are integral to the delivery of thousands of meals.

Casey, whose department is responsible for distributing the meals throughout the hospital, is also pleased that the Princess Auto Foundation gift is supporting the local restaurant industry at a challenging time for businesses and their employees. Meals have been purchased from Salisbury House, WOW Catering, Trans Canada Brewing Company, and Fionn MacCool’s. By the end of the current round of funding, the Princess Auto Foundation will have purchased roughly 20,000 meals for Feeding the Frontlines.

Lunch from Salisbury House provided by the Princess Auto Foundation.

“When COVID-19 first hit, we knew that we wanted to provide rapid response funding to support frontline health care workers in the community,” says David Shnider, Director of the Princess Auto Foundation. “We had to pivot and change our model very quickly. Our foundation primarily supports trade school students in our 19 partner colleges across the country. Everyone has had to pivot, especially people who work in health care.”

The genesis of the Princess Auto Foundation’s support of the HSC Foundation came from Bob Tallman, Chairman of the Board of Princess Auto, a Winnipeg-based tool and equipment enterprise. The company, says Shnider, was keenly aware from the outset that health care and local businesses needed support.

“For a long time it seemed that there was no endgame for COVID. The goalposts kept moving,” says Shnider. “Health care workers needed support and businesses were feeling the financial pinch. We wanted to do our part.”

HSC Winnipeg’s NICU staff members

HSC Winnipeg’s NICU staff members show their appreciation for the Princess Auto Foundation.

For the HSC Foundation, the support from the Princess Auto Foundation stands as a powerful example of what’s possible when people come together with passion, good intentions, and a sense of community spirit.

“The Princess Auto Foundation saw a need and they acted quickly to make a difference for frontline health care workers, for the patients in their care, and for local businesses,” says Jonathon Lyon, President & CEO of the HSC Foundation. “Their early and consistent support has inspired others to contribute and make a difference. This sort of generosity has a huge impact, and it defines who we are as Manitobans. We are very grateful.”