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CONNECTIONS by xumiaomaio


                                                                                                                        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
at CAR-C.

          “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
                                                                       take part.
                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                                                        
                                                                                                        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
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Please mail your donation to 640 Lawrence Ave. West, Toronto, Ontario, M6A 1B1. Or donate online   Charitable registration no. 11906 2495 RR0001.
at 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.

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