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Let all who are hungry come and eat...

Hunger and Poverty

 

In some places, hunger is caused by droughts, famines or civil unrest. In Canada hunger is often a serious symptom of a larger problem – poverty – that affects a person’s life in a multitude of ways. While organizations across the country struggle to address hunger, increasingly they develop creative ways to leverage feeding people in need to also address the other issues associated with hunger and poverty.   

 

Second Harvest

 

Second Harvest is primarily a food rescue organization, rescuing millions of pounds of food and delivering it to over 200 food agencies in the Toronto Region.

 

Recently they have added an innovative program. Their Harvest Kitchen provides both food and opportunity to 100 marginalized and unemployed youth. Supervised by professional chefs, they learn to make nutrient-dense meals from ingredients Second Harvest rescues and rarely-rescued cooking staples funded by Mazon Canada.

 

Acquiring food service skills readies them for entry-level positions in the industry! Career-readiness, a more impressive resume and a professional reference can be a game-changer for a young person on the street.

 

And the meals they cook are delivered to clients meal programs and drop-in centres!    

       

   

Choices for Youth

 

Choices for Youth is a multi-service provider for homeless youth in St John’s Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

Their goal is to have empowerment-based programs available to youth for whom “home” is not an option. They provide stable and age-appropriate support systems to vulnerable young people during periods of transition in their lives.

 

MAZON Canada supports their outreach meal program offering a hot lunch. This is a way of attracting homeless youth and often serves as the first point of contact to draw them in to be able to engage with social workers, gain referrals to additional in-house programs and have a nutritious meal, all within a safe, supportive and community-minded space. Assuaging their hunger is a way of starting to address other, inter-related aspects of their vulnerability.    

   

Mosaic Interfaith Out Of The Cold

 

A coalition of mosques, churches and Temple Har Zion in the York region of Ontario form Mosaic Interfaith Out Of The Cold (OOTC), a shining example of interfaith coalition work.

 

Every night of the week, a different faith community in the network hosts an overnight shelter on a two-week rotation. MAZON Canada provides funds to ensure that Mosaic Interfaith can provide meals of nutritional quality and take-away bagged lunches.

 

With our support for meals, they can devote their resources towards other needs of their clients: clothing bank, showers, hairdressing services, counselling and nursing/medical care, and even housing referral.  

   

Santropol Roulant

 

One rarely-considered blow of poverty and hunger is isolation. That is why projects that use food as an opportunity to socialize can have such profound impact, and Montreal’s Santropol Roulant is an outstanding example.

 

They deliver 100 meals and conversations a day, mainly to seniors and people with disabilities. The food is a combination of organic vegetables grown at Santropol’s farm and necessary staples like eggs, cheese, and meat that they can buy with MAZON Canada’s granted funds- nourishment for both the body and the soul – addressing both hunger and social isolation. 

 

 

Image credit: Sandrine Corbeil

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