It was sometime in March 2020, when Canadians and people around the world began to realize the gravity of COVID-19, that Jamie Pope asked herself how she wanted Tim Hortons to be remembered in the future when people looked back on the pandemic.
It was a question asked by restaurant owners across the country and it spawned an all-in approach to supporting frontline workers and communities as COVID-19 spread across Canada.
“We all asked ourselves how we could contribute,” said Pope, a Tim Hortons restaurant owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“I believe life is better when we help each other and when faced with difficult moments in life, we must choose kindness. I recognized that we could provide a cup of coffee, a symbol of comfort, to those on the frontlines during such an uncertain time.”
The generosity of Pope and the other 1,500 restaurant owners across Canada who have donated more than 1.7 million coffees since March 2020 exemplifies the spirit of Tims For Good, a sustainability platform designed to promote continuous improvement at Tim Hortons across three pillars: people and communities, food and beverage quality, and the planet.
The platform is inspired by the idea that even the smallest changes have the potential to make a big impact and that Tim Hortons, with its nearly 4,000 restaurants across Canada, can do a lot of good in all the communities it serves.
“We’re proud to be a part of virtually every community across Canada and recognize that given our scale, we have a responsibility and the privilege to contribute to building a more sustainable path forward for the country,” says Axel Schwan, President of Tim Hortons.
“Whether it’s through massive initiatives like Camp Day and Smile Cookie that have collectively raised over $275 million to support Canadian youth and local charities — one cup of coffee and one cookie at a time — or a restaurant owner stopping by a local food bank with a personal donation, Tims For Good reflects our mission to seek out all the small and big initiatives we can to make an impact in the Canadian communities where we serve.”
Tims For Good truly would not be possible were it not for the dedicated restaurant owners who go above and beyond each and every day to give back to their communities.
“We’ve been fortunate to be able to give back to other local businesses and organizations in our community for quite some time,” says Ashley Hrinkanic, a Tim Hortons restaurant owner in Gravenhurst, Ontario. “To have the ability to give back to those who continue to make our community thrive — no matter the situation — is the least we can do.”
Tim Hortons restaurant owners enthusiastically embraced the idea of paying tribute to the Canadians who have worked tirelessly on the frontlines throughout the pandemic. Tim Hortons coffee trucks began criss-crossing the country in the early days of the pandemic to support frontline workers and continue to travel from coast to coast to coast.
“We live in a small but mighty town, so when the Tims For Good coffee truck came this past winter, it was an additional opportunity to help us give back to our neighbours,” said Hrinkanic.
“Whether it was dropping off coffee and baked goods to those who work tirelessly at our grocery stores, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, or donating Tim Hortons gift cards to nursing homes, it was the least we could do to continue to show our support or brighten up someone’s day.”
Other key campaigns that make up the people and communities pillar of Tims For Good include:
– Since 1974, Tim Hortons Foundation Camps (Tims Camps) has helped youth from disadvantaged circumstances realize their potential. Through a multi-year camp-based program, youth develop skills like leadership, resilience and responsibility, empowering them to change their stories.
– Camp Day is the largest single-day annual fundraiser in support of Tims Camps and has helped support nearly 300,000 camp experiences. On Camp Day, 100 per cent of the sales of hot and iced coffee are donated to Tims Camps. Since 1991, Camp Day has raised more than $212 million to support youth.
– Since 1996, Tim Hortons restaurant owners have donated 100 per cent of the sales of every Smile Cookie to support a local charity in their area. Last year, nearly $11 million was raised and donated to more than 550 local charities, hospitals and community groups across Canada. Smile Cookie has raised more than $65 million since 1996.
– Timbits Sports helps remove financial barriers so 400,000 kids a year can play soccer and hockey. The philosophy of the program is not based on winning or losing, but on learning a new sport, making new friends and just being a kid.
Tim Hortons also believes it’s important that our sourcing of coffee beans in other countries directly benefits coffee farmers, their families and their communities and we’re proud our coffee is 100 per cent ethically sourced. Since 2005, Tim Hortons has worked with smallholder coffee farming families who are most in need of our support. To date, our partnerships have been implemented in Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil and Tanzania and have impacted more than 30,000 coffee farmers and their families, of which 7,000 are women and 4,800 are young adults.