Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back that kicks off the giving season. This is a day when individuals and businesses join together in support of charities. It is a time to amplify, celebrate and encourage activities that support our community. Whether you’re volunteering time, helping your neighbour, spreading the word, or making a donation, Giving Tuesday is a movement that offers everyone the opportunity to create change, have an impact and make a difference in their community.
At North York Harvest, we are continuing to focus all our efforts on providing emergency food assistance. We are not able to do it alone. We are incredibly thankful for the support we have had from our community.
Your generosity helps us ensure that everyone is able to put food on their table and feed their families during what continues to be very challenging times.
Here is a special message from our Board Chair, Habon Ali sharing more about how you make our work possible.
Thanks to you, more than 2,5000people in our community were able to be supported each week.
Thank you for helping our community meet their food needs, we couldn’t have done the work we do without the kindness, support and generosity from all of you!
Comments Off on Education At the Heart Of Community
Food insecurity has been a longstanding concern in North York’s Keele and Finch neighbourhood where
ANIDA Foundation is located, but over the past year and a half the organization’s executive director Samuel Donker says that need has grown exponentially.
“Pre-pandemic we served 30 to 60 people bi-weekly, now it’s 350 depending on the needs of seniors,” he says. According to Donker, the way in which North York Harvest responded to its member agencies during the pandemic helped keep their program running in very real ways. “There was a lot of uncertainty but the resources we had access to allowed us to continue to serve clients safely,” he says. Shifting their operations from indoors to outside required tents, vests for staff and access to technology, all of which were facilitated by North York Harvest. Grant funding also helped ANIDA launch a seniors delivery program which continues to serve 100 seniors on a bi-weekly basis.
Along with providing nourishing food, ANIDA is also focused on feeding minds through educational programs. “We have a reading program for children along with a book bank thanks to our partnership with Indigo,” explains Donker. “Having the food bank allows us to offer access to our other resources and programs which people wouldn’t otherwise know were available.” As with other member agencies, food is the connection to education and so much more as we all work towards building healthier communities
As students return to campuses everywhere, many are on even tighter budgets than usual. In some cases students didn’t have the same job opportunities during the summer months, making it even more challenging when they return to school. As a result, some of our busiest member agencies operate on university and college campuses.
Over the past year, many of us have enjoyed ordering takeout from our favourite restaurants and dining in the comfort of our homes. These days the simple luxury of ordering takeout after a long week, may not be in the budget for many of our friends and neighbours. As a result of these circumstances, DoorDash recognized the need for additional support in communities nationwide, and has partnered with a number of organizations nationwide to make takeout delivery easier for families and individuals nationwide.
At North York Harvest, DoorDash’s donation of $10,000 worth of gift cards was distributed to Seneca College students in September. For budget-conscious students, having access to a $25 DoorDash gift card, was a wonderful way to give a healthy and hopeful kickstart to the upcoming school year.
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As we approach the new school year, families that are already experiencing food insecurity are facing additional challenges as they prepare their school-aged children for September.
Like many in our community whose employment was disrupted due to the pandemic, Christina lost her full-time position last summer. When she found out one of North York Harvest’s food spaces operates from her neighbourhood community centre, she became a client.
“Those were trying times after losing my job and having a school-aged child idling at home throughout the summer,” shares Christina.
Over the last decade, children have made up just over 20% of Canada’s general population yet they represent more than 30% of our food bank clients.
Christina was appreciative of the additional food she got from North York Harvest every other week. “Not having to constantly worry about getting enough healthy food after paying rent and other necessities is a huge relief.”
The North York Harvest strives to maintain an accessible and equitable network so that the most vulnerable, especially families with children and seniors, can receive the support they need. Currently North York Harvest is providing emergency food to more than 2,500 individuals each week.
Our service is made possible by the generosity of community members like The Schulich Foundation. Please join us in spreading hope, health and well-being for the community, and double your impact before the end of September.
The Schulich Foundation, one of North York Harvest’s long-standing supporters, wants to ensure the generosity of neighbours-helping-neighbours has an even greater impact and will match all donations, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, until September 30.
Comments Off on Pop-Up Shop for Pets In Partnership with the Humane Society of Canada
Last month, North York Harvest partnered with Humane Society International/Canada and Friends of HSI to hold a pet food pop-up at the Bathurst and Finch Community Food Space. The purpose of this event was to provide support to those in need of assistance in caring for their companion animals. Those impacted by the pandemic were offered free dog and cat food as well as treats and supplies for their pets.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our team’s focused mission has been to help keep pets in their homes. We have seen the unmistakable and often severe impact that COVID-19 has had on communities around Toronto and the rest of the province. We also know that the struggles and the lasting impact on people’s lives continues. We are grateful for this partnership with North York Harvest Food Bank as we join together to provide continued relief for people and their pets,” says Larysa Struk, Project Manager for the Ontario COVID-19 Animal Response Program at Friends of HSI.
Here at North York Harvest, we realize that for many individuals and families, pets have provided a much needed source of support, especially during the pandemic. At the same time, pet ownership is an added expense for many in our community. “With access to quality pet food and supplies, we are helping our community members ensure the well-being of their companions,” Henry Chiu, Director of Development & Marketing. “By partnering with the Humane Society International/Canada, we can further expand our existing support for pets which benefits the long-term health of all members of our community.”
Family, friends and relaxation, that’s what summer should be all about. But for many families in our community, summer adds a significant stress as they grapple with additional food costs. In fact, summer is the time of year when our community’s food needs are at a peak, yet we receive our lowest level of donations. With your support, we can continue helping nourish families who turn to North York Harvest to meet their food needs.
During the pandemic you have helped make the Hamper Hero Virtual Food Drive a major success! While in-person food drives were not possible, the generous support North York Harvest received from families, schools and community groups was incredible. As we head into the summer months, the positive response continues with an increasing number of community members participating in virtual food drives. Our community continues to need your support, and we’re pleased to be able to help families with your contributions.
Goal Setting: While it may seem simple, setting a fundraising target creates excitement for everyone who donates. Consider setting a reward for meeting your target to get everyone even more engaged.
Make It Special: Select a date and host a kick-off event that gets everyone on board. Consider engaging your network by sharing a video about the work that North York Harvest does.
Give Regular Reminders: Keep your group updated on the success of your Virtual Food Drive by sharing via social media platforms. Encourage everyone who has contributed to share on their social media channels and remember to tag North York Harvest too!
Comments Off on North York Harvest Launches 2021 Give 30 Campaign
Since 2012, Give 30 has been making a difference in communities nationwide, the United States and Australia. This grassroots movement was inspired by the Muslim faith’s Ramadan which takes place from April 13 until May 12, 2021. Regardless of of faith or background, everyone is encouraged to support partnering community organizations to fight hunger and food insecurity in our communities. This year, the campaign runs until August 31, which enables donors to extend their participation past the traditional 30-day campaign period. As a participating member agency, when you make a donation to Give 30 through North York Harvest Food Bank, your donation directly impacts the lives of families and individuals right here in your local community. By supporting one another, at times when we all need it most, we can each make a difference, together.
Find out more about the values, and vision of Give 30 along how this important initiative began with a singular idea and inspiration. Interested in learning how you can connect with others who are also taking part in this global movement? Become a Give 30 Fan on Facebook and follow Give 30 on Twitter.