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Subjects: NPT, JVN, CSR

IKEA Canada and Furniture Bank Join Forces to Alleviate Furniture Poverty in the Greater Toronto Area

BURLINGTON, ON, June 18, 2024 /CNW/ - IKEA Canada is collaborating with Furniture Bank, a Toronto-based social enterprise, to address furniture poverty and reduce waste within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Furniture poverty refers to the lack of basic home furnishings such as beds, sofas, and tables, which can lead to physical, emotional, and financial consequences for individuals and families. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the GTA alone facing this reality.

"At IKEA Canada, we've always believed in the power of giving back to communities we serve," says Helene Loberg, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada. "Furniture poverty is a crisis behind closed doors with many individuals and families lacking basic home furnishings to live with dignity. Our expanded partnership with Furniture Bank allows us to continue making a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most, while also promoting sustainable practices in our community."

What began as a pilot program in 2019 to repurpose returned IKEA mattresses has now flourished into a three-year agreement with Furniture Bank to service all GTA IKEA locations, aiming to significantly alleviate furniture poverty throughout the area. Since 2019, IKEA has donated over 23,400 mattresses to approximately 11,440 families in need. The reuse of these mattresses has prevented the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to 1,716 metric tons of CO2. IKEA plans to continue strengthening the capabilities of its partnership with Furniture Bank to improve circularity efforts and meet social needs in an ethical, motivated, responsible, and community-oriented manner.

"We've seen a huge jump in the number of people living in furniture poverty over the last couple of years. We're thrilled to have an opportunity to collaborate with IKEA to get children and families off the floor and sleeping in beds," says Dan Kershaw, Furniture Bank's Executive Director. "Turning empty housing into homes is our top priority, and we're able to reach so many more families through this partnership."

Help bring an end to furniture poverty with IKEA Canada and Furniture Bank

Furniture Bank works in partnership with over 150 agencies and shelters to assist marginalized individuals and families who are experiencing furniture poverty. Its partner agencies play a critical role by helping to screen potential furniture recipients. This allows Furniture Bank to focus on its commitment to ensuring those who transition out of homelessness and displacement are given the best possible chance to succeed in life. 

For more information on furniture poverty or to learn more about the IKEA Canada and Furniture Bank partnership, visit IKEA.ca/FurnitureBank.

Established in 1998, Furniture Bank is a registered charity and a social enterprise that redistributes furniture to those experiencing furniture poverty. This service provides low-income individuals and families with home essentials needed to create conditions of comfort, dignity, and stability that come from having a furnished home.

Founded in 1943 in Sweden, IKEA is a leading home furnishing retailer, offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford them. IKEA Canada is part of Ingka Group which operates 379 IKEA stores in 31 countries, including 16 in Canada. Last year, IKEA Canada welcomed 28 million visitors to its stores and 166 million visitors to IKEA.ca. IKEA Canada operates business through the IKEA vision - to create a better everyday life for the many people and does so through its local community efforts and sustainability initiatives. For more information on IKEA Canada, please visit IKEA.ca.

SOURCE IKEA Canada Limited Partnership

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