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Photo Credit: Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers

Longo family gives back by helping Humber students through COVID-19 crisis

When asking Humber supporters about their generosity, they usually tell a story of human connection and strong relationships, and the Longo family is no different.

Anthony Longo, president and CEO of Longo’s, is also an alumnus, the Chair of Humber’s Board of Governors and Co-Chair of the College’s first fundraising campaign, called Unlimited. He has given back and provided countless hours of leadership and guidance to his alma mater. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, he heard heartbreaking stories of thousands of students who were struggling to pay their rent, buy food and complete their education. Witnessing these students unable to finish their studies did not seem right to him and his family, so they made the decision to contribute $60,000 to the Support Our Students (SOS) Fund for students adversely affected by COVID-19.

“To be so resilient and to get to where they are in their studies, and to have something like this happen just didn’t seem fair,” he said.

longo family

Part of the Humber Family

Anthony Longo graduated from Humber’s Business Administration program in 1982 and connected back when he was asked to speak on a panel. Over the years, his involvement increased, first when Longo’s partnered with Humber in the 1990s to develop a Department Manager program, leading to his volunteer leadership service today. Several of his family members, including children, nephews and nieces, have also attended Humber.

As for what motivates him and his family to offer so much time and support, he says it always comes back to the students. He gets the opportunity to connect with them when they speak at Board of Governors meetings, at scholarship celebrations and through other on-campus interactions. “Many students had to sacrifice a lot to get to where they are today,” he said. “I love hearing about how they have so much energy, and how much they think about the future and want to give back. It always touches me to hear from students who are working really hard to make a difference in their own lives and in their community.” 

He also believes that Humber offers students an unparalleled learning experience by combining applied learning with theory and keeping a firm focus on innovation. “When I first joined the Board of Governors, it was incredible to see the amount of innovation, from the program offerings to investment in Lakeshore and North campuses,” he explained. For him, it is not about awards and accolades, but about the philosophy of making the world a better place – something he is sure that Humber is doing. “There are so many facets to Humber, and we are always thinking how we can make things better and provide more opportunities. I think I know a lot about Humber, but I am amazed every time we conduct a tour on campus.”

Community Impact

The Longo family has a long tradition of giving back to the community. As an essential service, Longo’s is committed to keeping their stores open throughout the GTA and providing a safe and clean store experience for staff and customers during the COVID-19 crisis. They have gone to great lengths to make policy changes, provide personal protective equipment and ask guests to wear masks while in their stores. Now that the initial shock from the onset of the pandemic has passed, they are turning their minds to value. As many people face financial challenges during the pandemic, Longo’s is committed to providing good value for families.

As an organization and as a family, they have donated more than $100,000 to hospitals across the GTA. They have also partnered with Second Harvest and Community Food Centres Canada to ensure fresh food is supplied to food banks and other agencies across the country. Through Longo’s Neighbour in Need program, they have provided over 250,000 meals to address food insecurity.

Humber is grateful to Anthony Longo and the entire Longo family for their longstanding dedication and leadership at Humber. The Longo family’s contribution to the SOS Fund will make an immense difference in helping students overcome challenges related to COVID-19, so they can get back to focusing on their studies and their future careers.