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.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES CALGARY - While the rest of Canada reels at the prospect of massive job losses, the economic devastation of COVID-19 feels all too familiar to many Albertans. Since 2014, Alberta’s ongoing economic downturn has touched the lives of all residents and resulted in the disappearance of over 100,000 high-paying jobs. Jewish Family Services of Calgary (JFSC) has been on the front lines of this ongoing crisis, providing food and counselling services to Calgarians in need.
Given their track record it is no surprise that, when COVID struck, JFSC was prepared to respond effectively. Almost immediately, JFSC adapted its existing programs and rolled out new initiatives. Counselling and mental health services were made accessible via telephone, and JFSC launched a Community Connection Café – a virtual space for parents to share experiences and learn from one another.
JFSC has also scaled up their food delivery program. Access to this service is of particular importance for JFSC’s older clients, who are especially vulnerable both to coronavirus itself and the risks of social isolation. Through our COVID-19 Emergency Grant to JFSC, MAZON is so proud to be part of this safety net.
MIDWEST FOOD RESOURCES - Midwest Food Resources in North Battleford, SK has been a MAZON Canada partner for a long time, offering a suite of programs like fresh food boxes, food education programs, and a community garden. While their staff, leadership and many of their clients are Indigenous, their support goes to anyone in need - just like MAZON.
Mazon knows that every community has different needs, and programs that tailor to them (especially ones run by community members themselves) are often more effective than more “general” projects. Sadly, not every funder feels this way - so when it comes to outreach, many projects that serve specific groups often feel the need to downplay who receives their services. As funders, it takes work for MAZON build trust with those projects and prove that we value and support their work and communities.
In 2018, we learned of a significant spike in racist violence and intimidation that had interrupted MWFR’s work. Their Executive Director told us she felt she could be honest with us about it only because MAZON is ‘a group that understands racism and prejudice’. When we responded with empathy, a brick was added to that bridge of trust that was only possible because MAZON is doing this work as a Jewish organization.
Since then, we’ve helped with both their Kids in the Kitchen nutrition education program, which has a majority of Indigenous participants, as well Garden Grants for their incredibly successful community garden (which is big enough to require a tractor)!