Angela Caputo's love language is food.
So when the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down schools in her community, she didn't think twice about translating that language into action to help children in need.
Caputo is the Chef and Owner of a popular restaurant, The Breakfast Pig, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. When local schools started closing in the Spring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, breakfast and lunch programs were also put on hold.
That meant many children who depended on those meals were going without food. Caputo quickly set to work preparing lunches and organizing meal deliveries to help the children and families who depended on these programs.
“If there's ever a time that you can do something for someone, even if it's small, you have to grab a hold of that opportunity because it can mean the world to somebody else," said Caputo.
Giving back to those who supported her over the years
Caputo credits strong support from her community over the years for the success of her restaurant. Like many businesses, her eatery was temporarily shut down in the spring as a result of government measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and despite her personal challenges, Caputo knew others in her community were having an even tougher time.
Caputo said she reflected on all the support local families had given her over the years and decided she needed to find a way to give back.
“Many families were struggling before COVID, and I knew how scary a time it must have been for those children and for their parents," said Caputo. “I wanted to make sure they were okay."
She started preparing nutritious lunches in her kitchen and traveled door-to-door to deliver them to local families. Initially she funded the food deliveries herself, before members of her community started sharing her efforts on social media.
It wasn't long before the community rallied behind her, and in two days raised an incredible $10,000. With the extra financial support and assistance from volunteers, Caputo then started cooking and delivering some 250 lunches a week to four housing complexes throughout the first few months of the pandemic.
From helpless to heroics
“The response from the community was absolutely amazing," said Caputo, “I think people felt helpless like I did and they just wanted to be part of something that was going to make an impact."
Ingrid Atkinson, a local TD employee, took notice of Caputo's good deeds and nominated her for the 2020 TD Thanks You campaign. The annual campaign offers thanks and appreciation to TD customers (individuals and businesses), and new this year TD colleagues, who have voluntarily gone above and beyond to help support their communities. This year's campaign celebrates the unsung heroes who've stepped up for their communities in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
"At TD, we pride ourselves on knowing our customers," said Atkinson, "I'm thrilled that through TD Thanks You, we are able to shine a light on Angela's courage, ingenuity and optimism, and recognize the work she has done to stand up for others and help create a better future for the community."
On August 11th, Caputo was at her restaurant when TD employees arrived in a transport truck and surprised her with a personalized thank you message and brand new furniture and upgrades for The Breakfast Pig's patio—something she had been dreaming of for many months but lacked the time and resources to do.
“Maybe one day I'll hear about one of these kids volunteering with a program like this to help other people, just as they were helped," said Caputo. “I think the greatest thing that we can do now," she adds, "is continue to show people that we care and hope that one day they will do something kind for somebody else."
From coast-to-coast, TD will be recognizing the impacts of our customers and colleagues on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to follow #TDThanksYou to learn more about the many inspiring heroes being recognized by this year's TD Thanks You campaign and the difference they have made.