Walker helps Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter deliver food security

Walker Industries press release – Walker Industries is helping provide a lifeline to women and children at risk of domestic violence whose struggle to rebuild their lives has been made even more difficult during the pandemic.

Walker has committed to donating $250,000 to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter in Toronto over the next five years to put healthy, nourishing food on the tables of vulnerable women and children, who in many cases have fled abusive relationships.

Ernestine’s provides basic necessities, including vital food support, to women and children staying in the 32-bed emergency shelter and to more than 400 additional outreach clients from across the Greater Toronto Area. With the COVID-19 crisis, shelters such as Ernestine’s are experiencing increased operating and food costs.

“We are extremely grateful for Walker’s support at such a challenging time,” says Sharlene Tygesen, Executive Director of Ernestine’s. “The demand for our foodbank is ever-increasing, as more and more families in the community are unable to afford to put food in their fridges and pantries due to the rapidly rising cost of housing and other necessities. The economic downturn tied to the pandemic has put many of our clients in an even tougher financial position.”

Food insecurity and trauma-related lack of resources can have a very deep and lasting impact on the women and children who have left abusive environments. It makes it much harder for them to rebuild lives free from violence and, in some cases, women and children remain trapped in abusive situations due to fear of financial and residential instability.

Walker has had a long-standing commitment of giving back in the communities where it operates and where its employees live. The company developed a relationship with Ernestine’s Shelter when employees, including President and CEO Geordie Walker, volunteered at the shelter, assisting in the food bank and donation rooms.

“We know firsthand that this donation will make a big impact for Ernestine’s,” said Geordie Walker. “But more than that, we hope to draw attention to the impact COVID-19 has had on women and children in dangerous or precarious living situations and encourage other businesses to make similar investments in organizations providing support in their own communities.”