MAZON Canada supports food projects across the country, from Haida Gwaii to Iqaluit to Thunder Bay. We have highlighted a few of our grantees - organizations that do incredible front-line work and face great challenges in this difficult period. Your support of MAZON Canada helps your community and your neighbours across the country fight hunger on the ground.
OPERATION RAMZIEH - Operation Ramzieh is a grassroots project started in Ottawa by a local entrepreneur in the hospitality industry named Abbis Mahmoud in March. In response to the overflow of demand for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mahmoud harnessed his network of food suppliers and vendors and put up $40,000 to launch the program. Within a few days, this new project began distributing free food hampers with enough food to last about 10 days. As regular volunteers and food suppliers stayed home or shut down, existing food banks turned to this grassroots entirely-volunteer community effort for help. As they became a central organizer on the scene, they gained enough momentum to expand from Ottawa to Toronto. Operation Ramzieh is an incredible example of the community coming together in emergency situations and meet the growing need for food assistance during this challenging time.
THE MOSS PARK OVERDOSE PREVENTION SITE - For the estimated 8000 people living without housing in Toronto, the early days of the COVID-19 crisis were truly apocalyptic. They rely on public washrooms to take care of themselves and stay hygienic - all of which suddenly closed right when they were needed most. Much of our already inadequate shelter system reduced its beds by a further 50% to keep the necessary distance between residents, turning thousands onto the streets. And perhaps worst of all, food support closed overnight. The usual patchwork of drop-ins and community centres that served free hot meals had bottomed out, leaving only 9 programs running in the entire city.
The Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site was not originally a food program. They’re a health care provider. But in the first weeks of COVID-19, they realized that many people in the park had not eaten for days. Their already stretched budget was needed for medical care, but they managed to fundraise enough to serve one full public meal before they ran out of money - and that’s when they were directed to MAZON Canada. Your donations in March and April provided hot, healthy meals to people facing some of the worst situations to come of the entire COVID-19 crisis, right here on Toronto’s streets.