Tag Archive: food drive

  1. Spring up for Good! Spring Food Drive Kicks Off at NYH

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    We need you to make sure our community has the healthy food they need this spring!

    We’re asking for the community’s help to raise $100,000 and collect 20,000 lbs.each of our most needed foods: canned tomatoes; rice; beans/lentils; canned tuna/seafood and cooking oil during our annual Spring Food Drive.

    With food bank use up a staggering 60% since 2010 in the northern half of the city, we are urging community members to get involved so we can ensure families, seniors, newcomers and youth have the food and support they need this season.

    “The skyrocketing cost of living in Toronto is pushing more and more people to turn to food banks to make ends meet. Our clients are being forced to make impossible choices with their extremely limited incomes. They can’t pay less for rent. They can’t pay less for hydro. But they can spend less on food, so it’s often the first place people cut when times get tough. The food we provide, through the support of our community, makes sure our most vulnerable neighbours aren’t going hungry during these increasingly difficult times.” says Ryan Noble, Executive Director.

    The food and funds you generously give this spring will support 77 community food programs in neighbourhoods across Northern Toronto, including: local food banks, community meal programs and cooking groups, peri-natal programs and before and after-school meal programs. 

    Ready to spring up for good? Click here to get involved.

  2. Cash VS. Cans

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    There’s been lots in the news recently about how best to support food banks. We’re grateful for all of the ways our community takes action against hunger, and each type of gift is essential in making sure 16,000 people each month have the food and support they need to thrive.

     

    Join the Winter Food Drive today!

    Make a Donation

    Register Your Food & Funds Drive

    Collect Funds Only By Setting Up An Online Giving Page

     

    Together we can make a difference and leave hunger behind!

  3. Thanksgiving Media Day

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    October 8, 2017

    10am-12pm / 1pm-3pm

    Every year, during our Fall Food Drive we invite the media to our office and warehouse. This event allows the media to focus attention on food insecurity in our communities during Thanksgiving.

    The media will film and photograph volunteers sorting food in our warehouse and interview staff.

    We’re looking forward to welcoming families to sort food with us on media day.

    We will have 2 sorting sessions: 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm.  During the afternoon session we will be visited by Mayor John Tory members of the Northern Heroes – local superheroes dedicated to fighting hunger!

    Media inquiries – please contact Aniska Ali at aniska@northyorkharvest.com / 416-635-7771 x 26

     

     

  4. Looking for Volunteers

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    Are you looking for a fun way to get involved with your community and make a BIG impact on the lives of your neighbours that use the food bank?

    We’re looking for volunteers and we have so many positions available to suit your needs! 

    Looking to volunteer for just a day or two?

    We offer one time volunteer positions for the Spring Food Drive!

    We are currently in need of drivers assistants to help our truck drivers pick up food for the following dates:

    Thursday April 20 (9am -4pm)

    Friday April 21 (9am -4pm)

    Monday April 24 (9am -4pm)

    To sign up for a shift, call Lisa at 416-635-7771 ext. 29 or lisa@northyorkharvest.com

     

    Want to come in for an evening with family and friends?

    Every Tuesday evening we offer sorting sessions for families and friends!  Learn how YOUR help in the food sorting room goes a long way to ensure that your neighbours get the best food possible! It’s a great way to have fun, get some exercise and give back!

    To join us on a Tuesday evening from 5:30-7:30 call Kadian at 416-635-7771 ext. 28 or kadian@northyorkharvest.com

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    Are you looking for an opportunity to bring your coworkers in for a volunteer experience?

    We offer corporate volunteer sorting sessions!  It’s a great way to learn about food insecurity in your community and work as a team to help make a difference!

    For Corporate Groups contact Shirah Stern at 416-635-7771 ext. 48 or shirah@northyorkharvest.com

    For Community Groups, Schools and other groups contact Leslie Venturino at 416-635-7771 ext. 21 or leslie@northyorkharvest.com

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    Want to be a volunteer on a regular basis? 

    There are many positions that let you get involved with your community on a weekly basis!  We’re in need of the following positions:

    FOOD SORTERS

    We’re looking for core sorters to join us in the warehouse to sort through donations before they reach the food banks

    Monday, 12:30pm to 3:30pm

    Wednesday, 12:30pm to 3:30pm

     

    FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS

    img_4541Lawrence Heights Community Food Space (Lawrence/Allen area)

    Tuesday, 1pm to 5pm – distribute food hampers

    Tuesday, 8am to 12pm – receiving food orders

    Room to Grow Food Bank (Kipling/The Westway area)

    Wednesday, 9:15am to 12:30pm – receiving food orders

    Oriole Food Space (Don Mills/Sheppard area)

    Monday, 9:30am to 1pm or 1pm to 3:30pm – receiving food orders

    St Vincent de Paul Food Bank (640 Glenholme Ave) is in need of volunteers twice per month to help unload groceries from the truck (typically the second and fourth Thursdays of the month).

     

     WORKING ON OUR TRUCKS

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    Driving Assistants

    We need some volunteers who can spend a day with our drivers.  See first hand where our food comes from and where it goes.

    To become a regular volunteer, call Lisa at 416-635-7771 ext. 29 or lisa@northyorkharvest.com

     

    Want to learn more about volunteering with North York Harvest? Learn more about what our volunteers have to say here!

     





  5. Donating to the Food Bank

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    Want to make a donation of food but not sure what you should donate?  We are asked that question quite a lot around here.  

    We made a Facebook Live video just to help our incredible donors to learn what foods are needed at the food bank and which items are better left on the shelf (or in the fridge).

    Check it out!


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  6. Spring Food Drive

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    Spring is in the air and our office is buzzing!  Okay, yes I admit, these past few weeks have felt like we’ve experienced all four seasons at once – but trust me… Spring is almost here!

    To celebrate the amazing weather on the way, we are kicking off the Spring Food Drive and we want YOU to be a part of it!

    The Spring Drive is so important for making sure that the pantries are stocked during the warmer months to ensure no one has to go without!  Together we can make sure that everyone meets their food needs! 

    Help us raise $100,000 and 100,000 lbs. of food!  Your support will help more than 15,000 people each month using food banks, meal programs, prenatal/early parenting programs, community kitchens and other vital services throughout the city.

    Getting involved with the food drive is a lot of fun and helps so many people! Just ask Lauren, who has been running food drives for more than ten years!

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    “I first heard about North York Harvest back in 2005 when I was 14 years old.  A NYH bag came to our house with the local newspaper letting us know how we could help,” says Lauren. “I decided right then to do a food drive. At 14 it was a really cool thing to do. Our first food drive raised 170 pounds and its increased so much since then!”

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    Lauren and her parents have made food drives not only a family tradition, but a tradition within their neighbourhood.  “I love going door to door to see everyone in the neighbourhood.  A lot of the people I grew up with still give every year because they know that people rely on our help. It has become a real connection to the community.”

    What are Lauren’s tips for running YOUR food drive?

    • It is much easier than it looks and it is much more rewarding too! Its benefits are huge!
    • We grocery shop as a family and sometimes with a few neighbours as well –add such items as baby formula, canned proteins. Living in a multi-cultural city and community, we also try to contribute spices and different types of food. Click here for a list of suggested foods to donate

    Over 400 people rely on the food bank EVERY DAY.  You can help!

    What are you waiting for? Sign up today to make a huge difference in your community! 

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    Looking for other ways to get involved with the Spring Food Drive?

    Check out the food drive kit that we put together just for you! It has everything you need to run an incredible food drive!

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  7. Hunger Doesn’t Hibernate

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    Hunger doesn’t hibernate and neither did you during the 2016/2017 Winter Food Drive!  Because of your INCREDIBLE support, funds, volunteer time and enthusiasm we raised OVER $250,000 & 250,000 lbs. of food!  

    This means that we can provide 750,000 meals to people that are in need of food this winter.  THANK YOU!

    There were more than 200 food drives in our great city run by families, volunteers, businesses, schools, faith groups, community groups and more. 

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    Some highlights of the Winter Food Drive include:

    Incredible Employee Engagement

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    The TRCA has been a community partner of NYH for a number of years but recently we have done more projects and programs together.  All of the TRCA staff are involved in food and fun fund events to support of the work of NYH!  

    They’ve collected food, held raffles and draws, hosted food events and had a great time doing it!

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    During the winter food drive, the TRCA came in to sort food and also held their annual holiday party in support of providing 5,525 meals this winter to families in our communities.

    Foods from Around the World

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    Delarie Murphy, Mutsa A Mawora-Lewis and Sarkis Kurkjian are international students from Citi College .  They joined the Winter Food Drive and proved it doesn’t take many people to make a BIG impact.  Hailing from Syria, Jamaica & Trinidad; these incredible students raised 530 lbs. of food!  Not only that but they knew that many people appreciate food that is familiar when visiting the food bank – so they made sure to donate food they enjoy from back home.  Food bank users come from all backgrounds and it is greatly appreciated when they feel comfortable with the food they feed their families.

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    The Redtastic team is a group of volunteers that dedicate their time to support Kadian when she runs hundreds of sort groups throughout the year. Jane, Janet, Gord, Sari, Bonnie, Linda, Haley, Steve, Enzo, Laura and Will are always reliable and make a big difference in the warehouse. During the winter food drive they were extremely helpful by providing guidance and support to not only Kadian but to new volunteers. Even when a group isn’t scheduled they will make time to come sort during the slot available. They are incredibly dedicated and we couldn’t sort through all of the donations that make it on the food bank shelves without them!
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    Biggest Food Drive

    We had a tie this year for the largest food drive.  Schools around the city are huge contributors to the food drives and this year Ledbury Park PS Faywood ABC both raised an incredible 4500 lbs. of food EACH! That will provide 13,500 meals to the community!

    Families Feeding Families

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    Michael Bros. Excavating has been a donor to NYH for many years.  A company run by siblings Peter, Tullio and Rosemary; they care deeply about giving back to their community.

    This year they encouraged employees, vendors and contractors to join them in providing food for families in need.  They raised an incredible 2,714 lbs. of food and came by the office 4 times to drop off their donations.

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    “We are very proud of our employees and brokers and value everyone’s involvement and cooperation. We will definitely encourage our group to once again, collect and drop off non-perishable food in the spring for our Easter Drive.” says Rosemary.

    Thank you so much to everyone that put their time, effort, funds and support into making this the best food drive yet!

    Thousands of people right in your community are able to access the food they need to get by this winter because of YOU! Thank you!

    We are amazed as always by the tremendous support we received during the winter food drive and look forward to sharing a food friendly 2017 with you!

     

  8. Looking Back at 2016

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    2016 has come to a close.  It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it?  Whether you had a great year or can’t wait for 2017 to start, we can all agree that a lot has happened over the past 365 days.

    Here at NYH, there has been a lot of excitement and progress over the past year.  We’ve seen many accomplishments and triumphs thanks to our amazing clients, volunteers, donors, staff and supporters!  We wouldn’t have had such a terrific year without YOU!

    I asked my colleagues in the office, warehouse and on the front lines what their favourite memories of 2016 were and got quite an impressive response!

    I considered doing one of those end of year top ten lists but then realized that I can’t decide which is the best one!  So here, in no particular order, are some of the great milestones, achievements and moments from 2016!

    2016 was BIG for programs, partnerships, feedback and healthy eating!

    Of course I couldn’t start off without saying THANK YOU for providing food to people in our community!  This year we served more than 15,000 people every month and distributed over 2.3 MILLION lbs. of food!

    On top of putting food on the table for our neighbours in need, there were many other exciting things happening this year, including:

    Child Care Food Delivery

    This year NYH partnered with Learning Enrichment Foundation to bring healthy meals and snacks to over 1400 kids in childcare programs throughout the city.

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    Mission Kitchen

    For 3 months this year, NYH was able to run a community kitchen in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood.  Each week, participants came together to learn cooking skills and enjoy a meal together.  Learn more about Mission Kitchen here!

    Food Handling Certificates and Meal Programs

    The Oriole Food Space ran a series of community kitchen programs in partnership with Flemingdon Health Centre and Working Women Community Centre, particularly aimed at Syrian refugees. We trained a group of almost 20 Arabic speaking newcomers in food handling and food safety, necessary skills in securing employment in the food sector.

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    Soup Production

    This year NYH got into the exciting world of food production! We partnered with FoodShare & Foodstarter to form a unique partnership to produce a soup that would help our community meet their food needs.  With the help of students and volunteers, we were able to produce a dry lentil soup that will be sold through FoodShare’s Good Food Boxes & Grab Some Good pop up markets.  Each soup sold will put a soup on the food bank shelf for someone hungry in the community.

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    Toronto Star Santa Hampers

    This was first year we were able to distribute a healthier hamper for those receiving the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund Hampers.  Every hamper included perishable items including eggs, cheese, apples and more!

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    Farm Fresh

    Many of our clients were able to visit community farms in and around the city to see first hand where some of the fresh and nutritious produce that goes to their table comes from.

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    Client Surveys

    A comprehensive client survey was conducted in our food banks.  Results are being put together now and will be used to guide future programming to ensure clients receive the best service possible!

     

    Logistics Essentials Workforce Development

    Using our warehouse space, we have embarked on a training program for low income individuals to learn skills for the workplace.  Students will learn technical and employments skills as well as receiving certification for Forklift driving, safe food handling and WHMIS.

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    Lawrence Heights

    Lawrence Heights Community Food Space found a new home at 6 Pengarth Court. LHCFS is also our first community food space to move to the new appointment based model.  This allows clients to have an appointment at the food bank to ensure less wait time, giving them better access to services and supports, and a personal touch.

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    Staff Training

    Our frontline staff have had extensive training over the past year in non-violent conflict resolution, working in communities that experience gun violence, trauma informed care, food handlers certificates, developing a community of practice, program development, evaluation and implementation

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    Advocacy Award

    This year we were honoured with the Advocacy Award from the Ontario Association of Food Banks recognizing our efforts towards addressing hunger in the community.

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    Donor Recognition

    This year we celebrated our donors at Taylor’s Landing.  It was a great opportunity to connect with some amazing people that are helping us provide our services in the community.

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     Don’t miss the 2016 wrap up video!

    There are so many other great memories from 2016 and this was only just a few.

    Do you have any highlights of the year? We’d love to know!  Leave your memories in the comment section to share your views!

    Here’s to an even more amazing 2017 helping our community meet their food needs!