Members of the Convenience Industry Council of Canada were joined by then-Ontario Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria, for a massive volunteer effort at the Peel Hockey Hub vaccine clinic in Brampton, Ont. on June 16.
The Peel region is a COVID-19 hotspot and home to many of the convenience industry’s new Canadian workers.
Close to 50 volunteers, including frontline retail workers from the region, answered the call to action in recognition of the importance of getting members of their community vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“Our industry is on the frontline and we want to ensure that we play a critical role in reaching the goal line in the battle to defeat COVID-19,” said Anne Kothawala, president & CEO of CICC. “The large number of volunteers from our member companies demonstrates their dedication to serving their communities.”
CICC Volunteer Day is part of the organization’s overall support as a partner of the Hub in conjunction with Peel Public Health. Located at Brampton’s CAA Centre, the Hockey Hub model is a streamlined flow-through process designed to administer more vaccines with fewer clinical staff than traditional mass vaccination clinics. Clients wait, get their shots, and recover in the same chair. Touch surfaces are minimized throughout the process.
CICC is also a lead partner of This Is Our Shot, #TogetherAgain, which is a national campaign aimed to rally Canadians and encourage each other to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence.
“This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone—from hard-working families and hard-hit businesses to our communities on the whole,” said Minister Sarkaria, who is also the MPP for Brampton South. “But through it all, I’ve been amazed at the volunteerism, Ontario spirit, and sense of community that’s been on display from organizations and people like the Convenience Industry Council of Canada’s members. Thank you to the CICC and the team of nearly 50 volunteers you assembled to change lives and build community.”
“Helping bench COVID-19 is why we answered the call and our frontline workers stepped up to participate today," Steve Pitts, Circle K VP of operations-central Canada, said in a statement. "We will continue to do our part to fight the pandemic all day, every day.”
CICC members didn't just volunteer, they did one of the things the industry does best: Provided participants and vaccinators with a selection of snacks and beverages—from Hershey, Mondelez, Naseeb International, Nestle, Pepsi / Frito Lay, and Vidal Candies—to help everyone stay fuelled.
“Canada’s convenience industry continues to step up and go above and beyond during the pandemic," added John Carbone, SVP – Canada at Core-Mark International. "As a wholesaler in the industry, Core-Mark is proud to support CICC in this initiative.”
Kothawala called the outpouring of support "nothing short of remarkable" and commended members for going the extra mile to create a memorable day for everyone at the Hub. “Yesterday was an example of how the industry is truly representative of where convenience and communities come together.”
The Convenience Industry Council of Canada is a national, not-for-profit council that represents the convenience channel. Our members employ 216,000 Canadians and annually distribute and sell over $55 billion in goods and services.