Tag Archive: Canadians

  1. Diabetes Awareness

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    Look to the person on your left, now look to the person on your right.  Chances are that 1 of the 3 of you are living with diabetes or prediabetes.  And, alarmingly, you may be one of the 1.5 million people in Canada who have no idea that they have this disease.

    Diabetes is a pressing concern for our members. People living in poverty have a much higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and treating diabetes is especially difficult for people who use food banks because of the lack of fresh, healthy food available.  So we’re working to take action on this critical health issue facing our community.

    Over the past year North York Harvest & Flemingdon Health Centre have teamed up to provide Diabetes Education Programs for residents in the Don Mills area.  Our goal is to provide these programs quarterly for those living with or caring for those with diabetes.

    We had a chance to speak with Elena Sobolev, Certified Diabetes Educator & Registered Dietitian regarding these life saving programs.


    How did you determine the need for these programs through the food bank?

    We have looked at a few areas where clients accessing food banks can benefit from our program. This includes food insecurity, which can be one important risk factor for those living with diabetes or even those who are at high risk; newcomers who need to prioritize settling in and putting food on the table, instead of paying attention to their health, etc.

    How many people have participated in the program?

    15 participants attended our June session, and 12 participants attended our September session

    What is the link between diabetes and poverty?

    We know that poverty is a strong risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. The chronic stress of low income living can increase the levels of cortisol (a stress-hormone), which can result in elevated blood sugar levels. Also, individuals who live in poverty often struggle with access to healthy foods and physical activity programs, which in turn can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

    What kind of barriers does one in poverty face when dealing with diabetes?

    There is a number of barriers faced by individuals who live in poverty. These include lack of  access to healthy foods, physical activity programs, as well as high cost of diabetes medications and medical equipment (ex: blood sugar test strips).

    What are the effects of untreated diabetes in one that does not have proper access to care or healthy food?

    Unfortunately, the consequences of poorly controlled diabetes are quite severe. People can develop problems with their kidneys, eyes, nerves (which can results in amputations), and heart disease (heart attack or stroke).

    More and more people of all ages are living with diabetes and being educated is so important.  November is Diabetes Awareness month and a great opportunity to learn more about how to take care of yourself and those who love. Please visit https://www.diabetes.ca/ to learn more.

    For more information about our partnership program, visit: https://www.fhc-chc.com/diabetes


  2. Filling Plates Together

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    Just do it!

    That was Anita Booth’s response when I asked her if she had tips for getting the office involved in charitable efforts.  As Genworth’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Anita has spearheaded the company’s fundraising events in our Every Plate Full Campaign.


    This summer alone, 918,724 Canadians will be using a food bank to fill their plates. National campaign Every Plate Full will bring thousands of people like you together to provide food for people that need it the most.


    This is the second year that Genworth employees have filled the plates of Canadians that use food banks.  Last year the employees raised $4000 through fun activities such as jeans day (which Anita tells me is very popular at the office) and running raffles.  This year is no different. “We kicked off on April 4th and we’ll spend the month raising money. Each week it’s something new and exciting. We have a 50/50 draw, a raffle for a new IPad and other great items”.

    And it’s more than raising money. “Working together to help others and having fun while doing it is what truly makes this effort a success. The employees really feel good at the end of the day.”

    How can you get your company involved with the Every Plate Full campaign? Anita tells me how easy it is to find a fundraising activity – no matter how small or busy your office may be.  “It’s easy and affordable to do things like jeans day, volunteering, an office potluck, a 50/50 draw or even a draw for a day away from the office. Anyone can get their employees excited about being a part of something no matter what their budget is.  It has also been proven that community involvement is imperative in attracting and retaining new talent.”


    So what are you waiting for?

    You can get your coworkers involved TODAY and be a part of this incredible nationwide effort to fill the plates of our neighbours! We want to provide 30,000 meals to your community and you can help make that happen! Sign up HERE or contact Shirah at 416-635-7771 x 48 or shirah@northyorkharvest.com and she’ll help you figure out what works for you and your company.

    Want to get involved as an individual or put a team together outside of work?  You can do that too!  Just sign up here! This summer, join thousands of Canadians across the country to ensure all of our neighbours have a full plate!

  3. CBC – Bringing Canadians Together

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    CBC has been a part of every Canadian’s life since 1936.  No matter whom you are, what city you’re in, how much money you make, if you were born here or immigrated – you know the CBC.   There’s no easier way for Canadians to feel connected to each other, than by hearing the stories from the CBC.  I’ve never been to Nunavut, but because of the CBC I can hear stories from the families that call it home.

    The CBC brings Canadians together and on December 4, it will be hosting their annual Sounds of the Season bringing us together in support of food banks.  It’s a chance for Canadians to get into the holiday spirit and unite in support of one incredible and worthy cause – feeding your community.   What better way to kick off the season than to be a part of Sounds of the Season?


    Last year $36,906 was raised for North York Harvest  – that’s 110,718 meals for Canadians struggling with hunger. We are incredibly grateful to CBC and everyone that participated and donated to the event.  It really made an impact on the lives of the 13,000 people that North York Harvest serves each month.

    Every year the event is always a roaring success, drawing huge audiences across the country.  This year proves to be no different, with an incredible list of performers on the agenda.  Some of the performers this year will be Francesco Yates, The Toronto Mass Choir, The Heavyweight Brass Band, Terra Lightfoot and many more!

    Even though the weather is cold and frightful, the season still has a warm, cheery feeling when you come together with your community.  Whether you plan on celebrating the holidays or not, join us in celebrating the community and make a huge difference in the lives of people that are hungry.

    So on December 4th and all through December, join North York Harvest and CBC in celebrating this wonderful holiday season!   Click HERE to join in on the festivities! (Don’t forget to designate you gift to NYH)

    Thank you for generously donating to North York Harvest and lighting up the holidays with the gift of food. Because of YOU, families in northern Toronto will not go hungry.

    Don’t forget to sign up for our Enews!