Tag Archive: north york

  1. Approach to COVID-19 Vaccination

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    North York Harvest Food Bank’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is guided by our organizational responsibilities to workplace health and safety and our commitment to human rights.  Just as we believe that all community members have a right to food, we believe that access to health care resources should be provided free from discrimination.  Sadly, our collective experience with COVID-19 demonstrates that this is not the case.  Community consultations conducted by Toronto Public Health “stated that COVID-19 has laid bare and exacerbated long-standing systemic inequities related to poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination” and that “inequitable access to the social determinants of health has provided favourable conditions for COVID-19 to spread in populations already marginalized by existing inequities, particularly Indigenous, Black, racialized and low-income communities”.[1]  To state it bluntly, our community members are at disproportionate risk of contracting COVID-19 but not as likely to be able to access appropriate protections.[2]

    As an organization, we have spared no expense to make our workplaces and food spaces safe, to protect the health of our workers and to maximize access to emergency food assistance in our community.   We have committed to use guidance from public health experts as a minimum operating standard for all of our work.  This approach extends to vaccines.  While vaccinations provide individual protections from COVID-19, the primary goal of a vaccination campaign is to establish “herd immunity” whereby the majority of the population is immunized and COVID-19 can no longer spread.[3]  Our community will not be safe until this threshold is met.  As a result, North York Harvest Food Bank joins with Toronto Public Health to strongly encourage all Torontonians to get vaccinated if they are eligible to do so.   While we acknowledge that vaccination is an individual choice and that people may have valid reasons for not receiving a vaccination, we strongly believe that choosing to be vaccinated is an important way that all eligible Torontonians can support our work and our community. 

    North York Harvest Food Bank will facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations in any way that we can.  This includes using our food spaces to provide information and opportunities for vaccinations to our community members. 

    The availability of safe and effective vaccines provides us with a powerful tool to combat COVID-19.  I thank you for your commitment as we lend our support to local vaccination campaigns.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Noble

    Executive Director

     

    Additional Information on COVID-19 Vaccinations

    Vaccine fact sheets from the government of Ontario

    Information on the rollout of vaccines from Toronto Public Health

  2. North York Harvest Launches 2021 Give 30 Campaign

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    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
     
    DONATE TODAY
  3. Interested in becoming a Board Member?

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    North York Harvest is looking for candidates to join our dynamic Board of Directors.  

    If you have passion for our vision of a community where all members are able to meet their food needs, this may be the volunteer position for you.    

    Do you have:

    • Experience working in or with government
    • Understanding of poverty reduction and food security
    • Experience or connection to food distribution
    • Strategic planning

    We are seeking candidates for board terms effective February 2020; please note that orientation, including introduction to the Board, will begin as early as December 2019.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please review the NYH Board Posting.

     

     

  4. We Need Your Help

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    For many Toronto children, summer is a time for savory barbecues and fun-filled picnics. You yourself may be lucky enough to enjoy a holiday getaway with your friends and family this summer.

    But right now families in your community need your support more than ever.

    Many children from low-income families depend on food programs at their schools for lunch or breakfast. Sadly, in the summer months, these kids go without many of these important meals.  

    This time of year is even more difficult for working families who also have to pay for daycare (when the children are not in school).  

    The reality is . . . families in our community struggle even harder to put food on the table during the summer.  

    There are over 16,000 people who must use the food bank every month. 40% of these people are children.

    Almost two thirds of the children who rely on North York Harvest Food Bank every month are under the age of 11. That means that of the 6,000 children going hungry every month – close to 4,000 children under 11 are without food.

    But together we can make a huge difference in the lives of people in your community that struggle to put food on the table.

    What can you do today to make sure these children, and their families, get the food they need? It’s simple: Donate to our North York Harvest Food Bank Hunger Alert Campaign this summer.

    Your gift will go to work immediately to help feed:

    • Children whose single parent can’t afford both day care and three nutritious meals a day
    • Elderly who struggle to survive on their pensions
    • Families whose wage earners suddenly find themselves unemployed and forced to slash their food budget to pay for rent and living expenses
    • Workers who are straining to survive on shrinking pay cheques and rising living costs in North York
    • People from all walks of life who believed they would only ever donate to a food bank, never imagining that they might need to use one.

    When you make a gift to North York Harvest Food Bank you will help people through these difficult times, provide nourishment, and rebuild their will to overcome their challenging situations.

    Hunger doesn’t take a vacation but you can make a difference.  

    Also, your gift will be tripled this summer — for every dollar you donate, we can stretch that towards $3 worth of healthy and nutritious food for your neighbours in need

    Right now we need your support more than ever. Donate now to make a difference in the lives of more than 16,000 people each month.

     

  5. Summer Heroes

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    What if you simply couldn’t afford the food your child needed to be well?

    That’s an issue that I must face each day.  

    My name is Jessica. My 9 year old son, David, lives with a disability. His doctors say he has to avoid processed foods with lots of salt and sugar because they can make his condition worse.

    As you know, it’s much easier to afford processed foods than it is to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and whole grains.  It can be such a struggle just to get a healthy meal on the table.

    That’s why I am so grateful for North York Harvest Food Bank as well as the donors and volunteers that make these programs possible. Being able to visit the food bank makes giving David the food he needs so much easier.

    I know how much these foods matter to families using food banks, not just from the impact they make in my home, but through my volunteer work. I’ve been volunteering at the food bank for as long as I’ve been a client. When we have fresh food to offer, I watch my neighbours faces light up.

    I come home from every volunteer shift knowing I made a difference.

    And we need YOU to help us make a difference more than ever this summer!

    Summer is a difficult time at the food bank. Food donations aren’t as frequent so we have less food to share. With the kids out of school, they don’t have access to school food programs that are vital to their health.

    So many of the families I see at the food bank are going through the same thing. This is why your support is so important right now.

    By making a gift to North York Harvest, they can purchase the food our communities need, so no one is forced to go without during the summer.

    I know what a difference your support of the food bank  makes. Every time I sit down with my kids at the table to share a meal, I feel grateful that I’m part of a community that cares so much about each other.  

    Be a Summer Hero and your impact will be TRIPLED this summer. Every $1 you give, will be stretched to $3 worth of meals for people in need of food in your community! DONATE TODAY!

  6. Fill the Shelves

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    Every month North York Harvest helps over 16,000 people meet their food needs.  And we need YOUR help!

    Our shelves are almost empty and we are out of stock on key items such as canned tomatoes, rice, beans, cooking oils, baby food and canned fish.  

    With 47 member agencies and 77 food programs throughout Toronto needing orders filled, we are having a hard time making those orders possible. We’ve had to cut back on deliveries because we are simply out of stock.

    The shelves, freezer and fridge are bare.  But YOU can help make a difference!

    Make a donation so we can purchase healthy food here!

    Come by the warehouse or run a food drive to help your neighbours in need!

    Without you, we can’t meet the needs of men, women and children in our city.  Together we can fill the shelves and fill every plate.

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  7. Income Security: A Roadmap for Change

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    Recently the Ontario government released a new report in an effort to deal with the issue of income security, something that affects all of us.

    North York Harvest is the primary food bank for all of northern Toronto, representing more than 1/3 of the geography of the city. Each month we ensure that more than 16,000 individuals receive vital food support. Over the 30+ years our organization has been serving this community the demand for emergency food support has never been as high as it is today and we believe numbers will only continue to increase.

    We are so happy to see this type of report coming out of government.  This is the first report during our 30 years supporting our community that recommends major investments in and improvements to programs that affect the lives of low-income people in Ontario. The report demonstrates a commitment to a fundamentally different approach to supports and services, putting people, and their needs and rights, at the centre.

    We ask you to adopt these recommendations, but, especially where OW and ODSP rates are concerned, ten years is too long to wait.

    We see clearly, at our food banks and beyond that far too many Ontarians need support immediately; people are going hungry, losing their housing and suffering unnecessary health crises at this very moment because they simply do not have enough money to live a healthy and dignified life in this province.

    At North York Harvest we are deeply concerned with the current state of the income security system in Ontario.  1 in 8 households in Toronto are food insecure meaning that they lack the access to the food they need to properly feed themselves or their families. Thousands of children, seniors, single parents and adults are going hungry each day in Ontario.

    Food is one of the very few “flexible” costs in the lives of people on low-incomes. We know people are skipping meals, or going whole days without food, so that they can pay for housing, prescriptions and so their children can eat. This is unacceptable anywhere, but especially in a province as progressive and wealthy as ours.

    The reason for this is quite clear. People cannot access the food they need because of inadequate incomes.

    29% of food bank clients in Toronto are on OW and 35% are on ODSP. The fact that the majority of people we see coming through our emergency food programs are receiving social assistance clearly shows that the rates are unacceptably low.

    Food banks provide an undeniably important support to thousands of people. But food banks do not replace an adequate social safety net and cannot solve the problem of food insecurity. Simply put, food bank clients will never be able to access the food they need to feed themselves and their families without sufficient incomes.

    We support the vision, principles and recommendations in the Roadmap and know that, if acted upon, they would have a deep impact on the well-being of people on low-incomes in northern Toronto and would do so with dignity and respect.

    We urge the province to adopt these recommendations and to do so as quickly as possible. Government must take action now to make life better for low-income people in Ontario.