For almost 35 years, MAZON has fed those who need it most by giving front-line partners the resources they need to buy food for their communities. This type of granting is effective in feeding the hungry, but not in ending or preventing hunger. While day-to-day emergency food support remains the biggest part of our granting, we know hunger is a complex, multifaceted problem that needs creative solutions - which is why, with your support, MAZON launched three new innovative grant opportunities in the last 2 years to tackle hunger from different angles:
Our GEAR GRANTS help front-line agencies afford the equipment they need to feed their communities. In 2020, MAZON supported 7 partners with $105,000 of essentials like refrigerators and freezers to help them rescue perfectly edible unsold food that would otherwise end up in landfills. Because this reduces emissions, our Gear Grant was sponsored this year by Ontario's Ministry of the Environment. One recipient was Ve’ahavta, a longtime partner that supports the homeless population of Toronto, including through a street outreach van that provides hot meals, clothing, and hygiene essentials. Mazon provided funds for them to buy a second van to double their outreach, and retrofit both vans with the equipment needed to serve healthier, fresher food. This equipment will help our 7 partners rescue and serve 235,000 lbs more fresh, free, healthy food every year!
Our GARDEN GRANTS supports community gardening as a tool to end hunger by teaching people to grow their own food. This year, MAZON funded 6 exceptional gardens across the country, including Midwest Food Resources in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. They provide many different types of food services, including two gardens that produce a whopping 13,000 lbs of fresh vegetables each year! One is used to grow food for distribution through their healthy food boxes and the other is used as community garden spaces for low-income people to grow their own food. This year, MAZON is funding the start of a third garden through a special family memorial fund, a 150x150ft plot to support the food boxes with a special focus on native plants important to the large local Indigenous population.
Our ADVOCACY GRANTS support activists and advocates with the resources to tackle hunger at the very root. Hunger has significantly increased in Canada in the last decades - a trend that can be reversed with smart, compassionate policies. These grants will empower thought-leaders to do research, design policies, or launch or expand campaigns that will ensure no Canadian ever faces the hopelessness of hunger. This summer, our first-ever Advocacy Grant supported the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a collection of 125 agencies that campaign for a funded national school food plan. Mazon supported the CHSF's research on the effects of pandemic school closures on school food programs and the families that depend on them. This critical record proves the necessity and benefits of consistent, healthy school meals.