Because of supporters like you, we spent 2017 working with our community to help our most vulnerable neighbours meet their food needs, and find long-term solutions to poverty and food insecurity.
Here are some of our favourite moments.
We had our first ever garden since moving to Pengarth Crt in Lawrence Heights, and were able to run multiple harvest festivals throughout the city.
A joint garden-kitchen program with youth in partnership with PACT at the Lawrence Heights site, teaching kids about the importance of fresh food and healthy eating.
We supported the first ever farmers market at the Bathurst Finch hub, and now there is a weekly good food market on site every Wednesday.
Ensuring consistent service throughout our network of partner agencies
All of our food banks and member agencies are different, but it’s important that no matter where people live in North York that they receive the same standard of service.
This year we also took on a major network wide evaluation of our 19 catchment food banks, based on our Standard of Service. Clients at each site were surveyed and the programs were assigned a score out of 5 on areas such as accessibility, quality and quantity of food, customer service etc. We hope to repeat this assessment on an annual basis.
Our AMAZING donors
As always, our donors blow us away with incredible generosity and support of their community! Young Zack is no different, in just the first grade he’s making a difference for his neighbours. This past holiday season he popped by with cans of tuna that he purchased with his gift money.
Stronger Together: Increasing Services and Impact
We worked with many community agencies to bring enhanced programming and services to our members, including:
- Toronto Public Health dental bus at Oriole Food Space. This bus offered free dental care to those who otherwise would go without this necessity!
- Smoking cessation workshops
- Hearing tests for clients
- Diabetes prevention and management programs
- We launched the Community Food Works program in partnership with Toronto Public Health’s food strategy at Oriole; a program that teaches food handlers training and food skills to low income individuals. Our pilot at OFS was targeted to Arabic speaking newcomers.
- A resident based advocacy and food security program
- Several community kitchen programs
Healthy Food Matters! Focusing our Food Drive on Priority Items
This year we worked more intentionally with our fabulous food drive organizers to improve the quality of food we offer to our members. We asked them to hold single food item drives choosing from a list of 5 priority items: Rice, Oil, Canned Beans, Canned Seafood and Canned Tomatoes. These staples are versatile, nutrient-dense foods our network needs to maintain good health. Thanks to our incredible community who helped us answer the call for healthy food!
Leadership in Logistics
With the support from the Metcalf Foundation and The Learning Enrichment Foundation we have launched an exciting new program for individuals currently receiving Ontario Works. Aside from being a stepping stone in breaking the cycle of poverty, the program gives participants a chance to take charge of their own lives with the confidence and training to succeed in promising careers.