For immediate release
Canadian Red Cross Grant Affords Community Organization Temporary Working Space and Healthy Food Supply
(Toronto, ON) – On Wednesday, December 23, St. James Town Community Co-op and their OASIS Food Hub will collaborate to provide healthy cooked meals and food boxes to those who need it most. St. James Town is among one of the GTA’s neighbourhoods hardest hit by Covid-19. Pre-existing conditions exacerbated by the pandemic have resulted in an increase in food insecurity due to sudden job/income loss, mandated isolation, and other factors including a rising mental health crisis, among one of the city’s most diverse and marginalized communities.
After years of lobbying for resources including financial and location support, the Canadian Red Cross recently awarded the St. James Town Community Co-op a project grant to help address the growing gaps in access to safe and healthy food. Their OASIS Food Hub is based on an extensive “full cycle food hub” research model, that will be run by community members, and is environmentally friendly and sustainable. For a total of 12 weeks totalling six bi-weekly programs – from December 16, 2020 to February 19, 2021 – St. James Town Community Co-op’s OASIS Food Hub will operate from a temporary location at the local Wellesley Community Centre. After February 19, 2021, they will need to find for a permanent location to run these critical community operations.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Canadian Red Cross for their generous grant that will allow us to provide nutritious cooked and packaged food boxes to approximately 1000 members of the St. James Town community over the initial winter months,” said Larry Wong, St. James Town Community Co-op Executive Director/Chair. He added, “While we focus on the immediate needs at hand, we are also looking to the near future as the urgency to find a permanent location is imminent.”
Off-site cooks will prepare fresh nutrient-rich meals for delivery to community members who cannot leave their homes, while volunteers will package food boxes including fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and dried goods.
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Times (suggested for strong visuals, while less intrusive to Community Members prior to lines forming):
Packing and meal preparation: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Community member line-ups and deliveries to follow: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, ON M4X 1K7 (distribution takes place at the East side of the building, see map attached)
Local partners working closely with St. James Town Community Co-op and OASIS. Food Hub includes Aunty Amal’s Community Centre and OASIS trustee, Neighbourhood Group. St. James Town Community Co-op allies also include FoodShare, and African Food Basket, who collaborate and provide support with healthy food supply, and Green Thumbs Growing Kids and Toronto Neighbourhood Group, providing education and development support.
To volunteer, donate or learn more information, please visit the following links:
St. James Town Community Co-op
OASIS Food Hub
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Indira Tara PR