OPSEU partnering with Thunder Bay restaurant to help amidst COVID-19


THUNDER BAY — The Beacon Restaurant in Thunder Bay is giving back to the community by preparing and donating 300 meals, paid for by Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 720, to the Regional Food Distribution Association of Northwestern Ontario (RFDA).

“The idea is to support small businesses, but to also help people who are struggling in our community as we all navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Colleen Arvelin, president of Local 720. “Every little bit helps, no matter how big or small. It’s a way that our local can give back in our community.”

Carol Maxwell, lead unit steward for OPSEU’s Canadian Mental Health Association employees in Thunder Bay, says it’s important to work with the RFDA as it too faces challenges due to increased needs in the community.

“Individuals, families, businesses, and community groups alike are struggling and need our support,” she says. “We are proud and eager to help.”

Ed Arvelin, an OPSEU regional Vice-President, says OPSEU will do whatever it can to help the people of Thunder Bay and surrounding areas, many of whom are experiencing increased stresses due to COVID-19.

“Partnering with the RFDA makes sense because they believe, just like us, that giving back to people in need is the right thing to do. Now especially is a very stressful time due to financial insecurity during the pandemic,” he adds. “I am proud of my local and the willingness to give back. This is what we do in mental health & addictions: we put people first.”

OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, applauds the locals for going the extra mile to help their communities.

“Our members from across Ontario are rolling up their sleeves and being good citizens, neighbours, and friends,” he says. “This is no surprise, but it is great to see during a time of such need. OPSEU has, and always will, support Ontarians.”

For more information:  Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931