Stage Door News

London: Grand Theatre patrons raise $87,780 for the London Food Bank

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce that the third annual campaign in support of the London Food Bank has raised $87,780. Billed as SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALI-DONATE, in celebration of the holiday production of Disney and Cameron Macintosh’s Mary Poppins, this initiative partners the Grand Theatre with Business Cares and has resulted in a three-year cumulative total of $290,779.  “When I presented the idea of continuing our annual London Food Bank campaign to the cast and staff, I received a resounding ‘yes’ from every single person. With their support, the campaign has exceeded our expectations, and has once again demonstrated the incredible generosity of the patrons of our theatre,” says Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum.

Following each performance actor Deborah Hay, who played Mary Poppins, spoke passionately to the audiences about the number of Londoners who access the services of the London Food Bank. “Each month, the Food Bank assists more than 8,000 individuals, which represents 10 times the number of seats in this theatre, with 40% of those individuals being children.” After each performance, cast members were on hand in the lobby with collection baskets to collect cash donations.

Cast members and staff visited the London Food Bank during the run and assisted in sorting and preparing food hampers, providing unforgettable firsthand context of the impact of the campaign.

London Food Bank Co-Executive Director Jane Roy notes that “this incredible level of support continues to allow the Food Bank to raise the nutritional value of the food we provide to those we serve in our community. These funds will assist both individuals and families that access our resources as well as the over 20 agencies that we support throughout the year.  The ongoing generosity of the audience members, cast, crew, and staff of the Grand Theatre allows us to increase our purchases of food items such as milk, eggs, bread, fruit, and vegetables. We are extremely grateful for their dedication to helping fulfill the needs of Londoners.”

About the Grand Theatre –World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools at no cost. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.

About Business Cares

The Business Cares Food Drive is a volunteer-driven initiative that believes in the credo that ‘taking care of business means taking care of people.’ This initiative, which just completed its 20th annual campaign, brings together London’s corporate community in a coordinated effort to raise donations for the London Food Bank and the organizations it supports. During the 2019 campaign, Business Cares Food Drive collected a record 476,000 pounds worth of food.

Photo: Mark Uhre as Bert and Deborah Hay as Mary Poppins with ensemble. © 2019 Dahlia Katz.