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Walking for Change: CAFE Participates in Coldest Night of the Year Fundraiser Walk

The changing economic landscape in Canada has created an epidemic of homelessness and hunger, with people living on the streets without a stable source of food in numbers higher than they have ever been in this country. As individuals, we may not be able to change policies overnight, but there is so much we can do. The Coldest Night of The Year (CNOY) campaign is an incredible Canada-wide initiative, where tens of thousands of participants step outside the warmth and comfort of their homes to walk outdoors on a cold February night in support of local charities that serve those experiencing hunger, hurt and homelessness. Since 2011, CNOY has raised over $75,000,000 in 190 communities!

A lively scene as people gathered at the starting line of CNOY 2024.

As members of our local community, we at CAFE did not hesitate to join in this campaign, as we have for the past few years, specifically supporting the Fort York Food Bank with our fundraising efforts. On February 24th, we walked alongside 550 participants – the turnout was nothing short of overwhelming!

Volunteers checking in at the registration desk.
Starbucks staff onsite offering free coffee to CNOY participants!

The event began with opening remarks by Chris Glover, MPP for the Spadina Fort York area, and music and DJs kept the atmosphere lively at the starting line. Our team of staff and volunteers participated in the 2km course, which began on College St. and weaved through residential areas all the way to Spadina Ave., and back again.

Opening remarks by CNOY volunteers.

Addressing the crowd of 550+ volunteers and thanking them!
Chris Glover, MPP for Spadina Fort York.

CAFE Team ready to walk!

Despite it being February, the weather was pleasant and we were lucky to not have to brave a very chilly night. Unfortunately, those living on the streets of Toronto aren’t as lucky, as winters in this city are not usually as forgiving. We were met with volunteers holding signs at intervals along our route, cheering on the participants and keeping the morale positive and energetic.

CAFE staff are always happy to give back to the community.

We walked the 2km route of CNOY 2024.
Photo fun along the way!

CAFE participates in many community led events in Toronto.
Volunteers keeping walkers in good spirits!
All done!

Our team walked the 2km route in high spirits, talking, laughing and enjoying the spirit of the event. Drums and a lively celebration awaited us at the finish line – we crossed it while cheering and posed for a few photos! Volunteers were welcome to a warm bowl of soup upon completing the walk, and many were seen going into Fort York Food Bank to warm up and enjoy.

Happy team with a job well done!

We had a great experience, as always, connecting with the staff of the Fort York Food Bank, as well as other volunteers from the area who felt as passionately as we do about this cause. Supporting our community is something we take great pride in doing, and as a thriving business in Toronto, giving back is a non-negotiable for us. We look forward to next year’s walk!

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