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RBC Helping Hand Program Enables Canadians to Support Frontline Healthcare Workers

Honouring our healthcare heroes who are selflessly supporting Canadians by providing them with prepared meals, essential groceries and hotel accommodations

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TORONTO, June 1, 2020 –  Healthcare workers are leading the way to help keep our communities safe, as we continue to battle COVID-19. Recognizing just how much the lives of our critical frontline workers have been disrupted in the service of others, RBC wants to say “thank you”. The RBC Helping Hand program is providing these essential workers with the services and support they need to do their jobs, stay healthy and care for their families.

In collaboration with local restaurants, food services companies and hotels, RBC is delivering prepared meals and essential groceries, and providing overnight hotel accommodations to hospital workers in communities across Canada that have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Communities across Canada are trying to adjust to a new normal, and that includes our frontline workers who are attempting to balance patient care with their personal lives and their health,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking. “As the weeks turn to months, we want our healthcare workers to know that RBC is here to provide the support they need on and off the job. We want to help them continue to focus on caring for their patients and, by extension, our communities.”

Nourishing the Frontlines
Access to healthy meals after long shifts has been a key challenge for frontline healthcare workers during this pandemic. In partnership with Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, Compass Group Canada and many local restaurants, RBC is providing up to 20,000 meals and essential groceries to hospital workers across Canada. They will receive high quality prepared meals and healthy groceries at the end of their day so they can take care of themselves and their families.

‘Canadians and businesses want to help, and we’re bringing these groups together to support our healthcare workers who are on the frontlines every day fighting the pandemic. And while working alongside local restaurants and hospitality industry employees to help our frontline workers, we’re all supporting the economy on the road to recovery,’ added McLaughlin.

Home Away to Rest and Recharge

“We also know that at the end of a long shift, getting rest and recharging while keeping their own families safe can provide peace of mind to our valued healthcare workers during these challenging times,” McLaughlin noted.

In recognition of healthcare workers and caregivers on the frontlines battling COVID-19 in communities across Canada, and to say thank you and provide some much needed relief, RBC and Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s travel program, have collaborated to offer up to 5,000 free room nights at hotels near hospitals.

Supporting Mission Critical Research
The demand is increasing for antibody tests that can reveal who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and the ability to analyze and process these tests in large numbers, will provide critical insights into the changing levels of immunity within the general population. RBC is supporting a team of researchers at Sinai Health and the University of Toronto with funds to back the early stages of developing an automated system to process these tests on a massive scale. The goal is for this system to ensure consistent specimen handling and quality control while reducing the supplies and resources required for large scale sampling. Being able to tell healthcare workers that they have already been exposed and have antibodies could help bring significant peace of mind to them and their families.

Support in the Community
RBC has donated funds to support strategic preparedness and response with donations to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. RBC is also a founding partner of the Mental Health Fund, helping support Kids Help Phone (Canada), Crisis Text Line (United States), Shout (UK) and Spunout.ie (Ireland) to provide mental well-being support to young people.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.

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