Toronto restaurants have been put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many have stepped up to the challenge and are not just surviving they are even giving back to the community. One such example is The Pickle Barrel, which has donated over 6,000 lunches to frontline workers in healthcare centres across Ontario over the last few months.
The Pickle Barrel first opened its doors in 1971 as a local restaurant selling deli on Leslie Street. What started as a six-person operation eventually grew to 13 locations with over 1,000 employees across the GTA.
Such success has paved the way for many opportunities to invest back in the communities that have supported the restaurant over the years. Pickle Barrel president and owner Peter Higley has spearheaded efforts to support local sports teams, community events, charities, and hospitals over the years.
It’s thus little surprise that The Pickle Barrel has continued this tradition in the face of the pandemic. Eldercare facilities have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus, so who better to direct support right now than health workers supporting Ontario seniors?
“It’s the right thing to do. We’re fully committed to helping our community,” says Higley. “The initiative started with wanting to thank frontline workers for their bravery and so the team wanted to give something warm to feed the soul. The least we can do is provide something back.”
The Pickle Barrel has donated free lunches to Seven Oaks Nursing Home, Lakeshore Lodge, Kipling Acres, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Eatonville Care Centre, The Donway Retirement Residence, Castleview Wychwood Towers, and many more health care centres across the province.
On top of that, every Pickle Barrel Restaurant is now offering 40 per cent off curbside pick-up for all health care workers. They’re putting themselves at risk to keep the population healthy, so keeping them well-fed is a most worthy investment.
“The Pickle Barrel has always been there for our community and we’re proud of our team who took great pleasure in being able to give something back,” says Higley.