S pring 2011
Dignified food assistance
On a sunny, winter day in our food bank near Lawrence and Bathurst, Naime, a volunteer and food bank user, stands behind a
counter, asking visitors what kind of tinned food they’d like – chicken or tuna, and soup or beans.
“A food hamper lasts two, maybe three days in my family,” says Naime, a refugee claimant. “We need the food bank until I find
a job. My aim is to volunteer, because I need a job to live. I’m finding out about Canada when I’m here. I’m getting experience
working with people from different cultures.”
More than a third of the visitors to our food banks
have been in Canada for less than five years. “Many
newcomers don’t know English and they can’t find
work,” Naime says. “It’s hard to even walk outside of
your house if you don’t know English.”
Naime and her husband have two children, 12 and
two years old. She’s 40 years old, an economist by
profession, and has volunteered for three months.
She and her Kurdish family fled from Turkey and
began using food banks two years ago as they looked
for work. While volunteering, she practices English
as she fills hampers, restocks shelves and helps visitors
“We need the food bank
until I find a job.”
Naime epitomizes dignified food assistance, chatting
with visitors about their needs, gently asking about
their food choices, and treating them with respect.
While Naime works, the radio plays Madonna as
more than 20 people drink coffee, eat crackers or Naime says that baby food and rice are popular items.
chitchat as they wait to pick their food. After rent
and utilities, the vast majority of families who visit
food banks have less than $7 a day for food, clothes
Improving a food bank
and expenses. And the situation is getting worse as This month, our Community Action Resource Centre (CAR-C),
food prices rise in Toronto, part of a global food the local food bank in Lawrence Heights, renovated to provide a
crisis. more dignified experience for visitors requiring food assistance. The
renovations followed a month of client surveys and many more
“I like to work physically – work hard – and I like months of planning.
to help,” she says. “I want to bring my children
here. For children, volunteering is an amazing The most noticeable change is how we present food in our drop-in
opportunity. I want my daughter to try it. This is real program. Food is now displayed in a way that would be familiar in
life. It will be good for her future. Our children will any grocery store setting with open shelves and attractive baskets for
become presidents, doctors. They’re our future.” bread and produce.
We need a truck! North York Harvest is in desperate
need of a new truck
Trucks are our roving heroes, collecting and delivering
millions of pounds of food. Thanks to a generous
donation of $50,000 from Mackenzie Financial
Charitable Foundation, we are half way to our goal of
purchasing a new truck. We need your help to secure
the remaining $50,000, so that we can continue to
collect and distribute 1.6 million pounds of food to our
community each year.
Please see the back of this coupon on how you can
Good news from North York Harvest
At our Annual General Meeting on SPRING
February 15, keynote speaker Dr. Lauren FOOD DRIV
Baker outlined Ten Good Food Ideas for
Ontario. She’s the incoming Manager When:
of the Toronto Food Policy Council. April 1-30, 2011
Sixty-six people attended, including
Toronto councilor Josh Colle, our agency
representatives and our new Board
members. Nutritious, non-perishable food
such as whole grains, canned goods,
We coordinated two successful Seedy cooking oils, rice and baby food.
Sundays, one downtown in February and
a second in North York in March. These Where:
events attracted more than 1,000 people, North York Harvest donation bins
connecting gardeners with heirloom seeds at fire halls and major supermarkets
and other gardening resources. – or drop by our office at 640
Lawrence Avenue West. We’re behind
Bathurst Heights Secondary School.
On January 20, thanks to the Shorcan
trading desk, bond traders at the Toronto
To give a financial donation, call
Stock Exchange donated almost $20,000
to North York Harvest.
To give online, please visit
The Success Network, a group of
independent businesses, raised 10,124 To give by cheque, please mail to
pounds of food at a Midwinter Kitchen the address below.
Concert on February 5. This was the
second year of the fundraiser, which was
educational and entertaining.
is published by the
We’re pleased to present two new Board
members, David Krieger (on left)
and Kent Sobey (right), with Toronto 640 Lawrence Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario, M6A 1B1
Councilor Josh Colle (middle). We bid a Tel: 416-635-7771
fond farewell to Faye Thorek and Susan
Blue and thank them for many years of www.northyorkharvest.com
Registered Charity No. 11906 2495 RR0001
Save the date: On October 16, 2011, North York Harvest
will again participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront
Marathon Charity Challenge.
The George Cedric Metcalf Foundation provided a grant to undertake a feasibility
study for a Food and Distribution Hub in Lawrence Heights, an innovative vision
that will bring people together around food – and will pull back the curtain on
hunger, poverty, and the food system in Toronto.
P YES! I want to help NYH distribute food in my community
Here is my special gift of:
I have enclosed my cheque payable to the
$20 $35 $50 $100 Other $ North York Harvest Food Bank.
Please print clearly: I prefer to charge my donation to:
Name: VISA MasterCard
Address: Card Number:
Postal Code: Telephone: Expiry Date:
Please mail your donation to 640 Lawrence Ave. West, Toronto, Ontario, M6A 1B1. Or donate online Charitable registration no. 11906 2495 RR0001.
at www.northyorkharvest.com/truckfund. North York Harvest respects your privacy. We do not All donations of $20 or more are tax-creditable.
rent, sell or trade our mailing lists.