Tag Archive: ontario works

  1. 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.

  2. Leadership in Logistics

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    Leadership in Logistics Program


    Here at North York Harvest, on top of distributing food to more than 25,000 people each month, we are dedicated to long term solutions to poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods.

    That's why 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.

    Together we are able to provide skills development and experience-based learning right here in the NYH warehouse! Students like Tammy are able to gain valuable technical skills and certifications in our operating environment - after all, we are the food distribution hub for more than 77 food programs in the city.


    "Being a busy mom, I felt the program benefited me by giving me hands on work experience and training that was essential in coming back into the workforce." - Tammy.


    This program is designed to propel graduates into careers in the warehousing and logistics sector. In fact, after Tammy graduated she became an instructor in the program paying it forward!


    Recently we have just had the honour of graduating another 10 students of the program.  This latest group of students is already off to having successful careers in the field with half of them already gaining employment while the others have exciting job interviews lined up!


    "I learned that if I stick with anything I can finish it! Everyone here is so supportive!" says Mark, one of the recent graduates.


    Saheed, another graduate also received some local fame, appearing in an article for the Toronto Star talking about how the program has given him a new opportunity in life.

    The Leadership in Logistics program is one of the many ways that North York Harvest is working to make a difference in the lives of our community members!


    We're currently looking for mentors and employers to get involved in helping those seeking meaningful employment through this incredible program!

    Are you currently receiving Ontario Works and would like to join other Leadership in Logistics students in learning high demand skills and certifications? Contact us to Sign up here!

    For more information, please contact Avril Gray-White at 416.635.7771 x48 or avril@northyorkharvest.com

    Would you like to donate and help this program flourish? Click here!


    Sponsored by:

  3. We’re Hiring: Admin Coordinator

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    Job Description
    Investing In Neighbourhoods – Eligibility Criteria:

    To apply for job opportunities through the Investing in Neighbourhoods Program, interested candidates must be OW participants living in Toronto. Investing in Neighbourhoods job opportunities are in not for profit community organizations and enable OW participants to: increase their skill level, develop contacts with employers, and obtain references with the goal of securing permanent employment. 

    Job Title:

    Adminstrative Coordinator $17.30/hour 22 hours/week (part-time)

    Job Description:

    • The Administrative Coordinator creates and maintains a well-run office environment that is supportive of other staff, and acts as an important ambassador with the public and stakeholders
    • The incumbent also supports the management team in proposing and implementing new processes and procedures
    • Office coordination: Making sure the office is well-maintained, organized and coordinated; Processing incoming mail, managing internal organizational communication; maintaining / trouble shooting office equipment; maintaining and ordering office supplies within budget; developing manuals, policies and protocols related to agency administration; recommend improvements to efficiency and operation of office processes
    • Customer Service: Manages front line customer service, ensures calls and walk ins are handled respectfully and with clear and accurate information; Acts as a resource to the community with food bank referrals, supports client inquiries by phone and email
    • Staff Support: Provides efficient and effective administrative and other support to colleagues, including: assisting staff from all departments with various administrative tasks and projects; working with Accountant to ensure cheque run is processed, signed and disbursed, including filing; Providing orientation to new staff and supporting orientation of new volunteers, as needed
    • Organizational Image: Protects and furthers the organizations image by contributing to the delivery of customer-focused service, fairly and accurately representing the organizational messages and the mission, vision and values statements of agency to external stakeholders
    • Team work: Contributes to a supportive and inclusive team that works together efficiently, effectively and respectfully.  Includes supporting and collaborating with all staff and volunteers; Actively contributing to a well-functioning administration dept.

    Requirements / Qualifications:

    • Minimum 2 years related experience
    • Preferably post-secondary education, or related experience
    • Excellent computer skills in MS Word, Excel and internet
    • Pleasant manner in dealing with people; excellent telephone skills
    • Demonstrated ability to work well with individuals from diverse backgrounds
    • Experience in providing information and referral services with strong cross-cultural communication skills
    • Ability to set priorities and handle multiple and competing priorities
    • Proven time management, organizational and administrative skills
    • Attention to detail and follow-up; willingness to pitch in
    • Familiarity with office equipment
    • Knowledge of food security and poverty issues an asset
    • Familiarity with northern Toronto area an asset
    • Ability to work independently but also as part of a team, across departments, and with volunteers
    • Sensitivity to the private nature of some information
    • Able to work flexible hours and some evenings and weekends
    • Secondary language skills an asset

    How to Apply:

    If you meet the qualifications above and are interested in applying to this position, CLICK HERE to upload your resume and cover letter.

    We thank you for your interest; however only those Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

    **For further assistance, visit your local Toronto Employment & Social Services Employment Centre**