Emergency Food Program

The St. James Town Community Co-op is committed to ensuring healthy & culturally relevant food access in the neighbourhood, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Our team is currently distributing emergency food hampers to 400+ households in the neighbourhood, providing thousands of families with nourishment during the pandemic. 

Please consider making a donation to support these efforts and the residents of St. James Town. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in our high-rise, low-income, hyper-diverse neighbourhood of St. James Town. The neighbourhood has been a COVID-19 hotspot from the onset of the pandemic, impacting residents with the highest per-capita rate of infections in the downtown core, as well as disproportionately impacting residents from loss of work, income, and stability.

In response, we pivoted our Bulk Food Buying Club to operate a community-based emergency food program to provide healthy, culturally conscious grocery boxes and meals to households and isolated residents in the community.

"Thank you so much for bringing the fresh, healthy foods to our front door, it is a huge help for my family especially these times of pandemic. We are so thankful and appreciate every single food on the box."

- Food Hamper recipient, 2021

"I don't know much but one thing I know for sure is this food box brings a huge smile on everyone's face in the household. Thank you"

- Food Hamper recipient, 2021

- Food Hamper recipient, 2021

- Food Hamper recipient, 2021

About the Emergency Food Program

The program first began in December 2021 with funding from the Canadian Red Cross, in order to provide short-term relief to the neighbourhood suffering from the impacts of the pandemic. The program has since received immense support from Canadians across the country, as well as from organizations including FoodShare, Afri-Can Food Basket, Global Medic, and Feed it Forward, and it has been able to continue. We currently have funding to continue the program until September 2021. If you would like to see this important and impactful program continue, please consider donating. 

Food Hamper Program

The Food Hamper program provides over 400 households with a beautiful, healthy food hamper, every 3 weeks. The hampers consist of produce from FoodShare and Afri-Can Food Basket, as well as 2kg of dried goods, local milk from Hewitt's Dairy, and local, Organic eggs from Howick Community Farmers. The hampers are packaged with care following dietary preferences of each household, and then they are delivered by Co-op Volunteers to the towers in the neighbourhood.

Meal Program

In addition to food hampers, the Emergency Food Program also provides hot and frozen meals to residents – specifically to isolated residents who cannot cook for themselves. Every other week, resident cooks prepare and deliver 100 culturally appropriate hot meals to neighbours, on a recurring basis. Additionally, we distribute 100 frozen meals each week, donated by Feed it Forward, to recurring residents in St. James Town’s Toronto City Housing buildings.

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