How Our Partners Are Putting Fruit To Good Use

We donate 1/3 of every harvest to a partner agency in Toronto. When you register your fruit tree, your fruit is going to directly to those who need it most. Here are a few profiles of some of our partners. Below they highlight how they share the bounty with their communities:

Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing is the largest social housing provider in Canada and the second largest in North America. Their homes and communities are in 106 of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods, providing homes to nearly 60,000 low and moderate-income households.

What impact has NFFTT’s fruit sharing program had on your community? 

NFFTT’s program allows the seniors at one of our residences to experience the goodness that comes from fruit! Often a few of the women make goodies with the fruit and share it at our coffee club. They would not be able to do this if they had to purchase the fruit themselves. Many of the seniors have told us the fruit makes a huge difference in their daily diet. 


Houselink Community Homes

Houselink Community Homes is a leader in the field of supportive housing and recovery for people living with persistent mental health challenges and addiction issues. As a community centered, charitable organization, Houselink continues to address the issues of homelessness and marginalization for single men and women, youth, seniors and families with children in the City of Toronto.

What impact has NFFTT’s fruit sharing program had on your community? 

We provide fruit to our service users, often by using the fruit for nutritious desserts. We serve a brunch on Saturdays, where we turn the fruit into pies, crumbles and fruit salads. We also do workshops with other agencies on preserving and canning. One of our service users has told us: “It’s so good to come to a program and get access to fresh, hand-picked fruits. I don’t usually have enough money to buy apples, so to get them like this is a real treat”.

It’s so good to come to a program and get access to fresh, hand-picked fruits. I don’t usually have enough money to buy apples, so to get them like this is a real treat


Toronto Community Hostel

Toronto Community Hostel offers services to address the complex issues that contribute to homelessness by helping people help themselves. Seven days a week and 24 hours a day, they provide the basic needs of shelter, food and clothing to families and singles and provide assistance with immigration, legal, educational and financial services.

How do you put the fruit to good use?  

Usually the fruit is consumed by clients as soon as it arrives, even before it can even be incorporated into meals! We also provide fruit to clients in the dining room, or serve fruit as dessert. 


The Stop Community Food Centre

The Stop provides frontline services to the community, including a drop-in, food bank, perinatal program, civic engagement, bake ovens and markets, community cooking, community advocacy, sustainable food systems education and urban agriculture.

How do you share the bounty?

We use the fruit in our community kitchen. We give some of the fruit directly to seniors in our Global Roots program – seniors who are skilled gardeners and cooks, but who don’t typically have access to land or to quality fresh foods. They are thrilled! We also use the fruit in our breakfasts, mostly in the form of syrups or purees for french toast and apple crumble.  


Parkdale Project Read

Parkdale Project Read supports adults to realize their learning goals by providing free literacy services in a supportive community. They work with English-speaking adults who want to learn to read, write, or use basic math or computer skills.

How do you put the fruit to good use? 

We use the fruit to provide snacks to the students in our program. Cherries were a big hit this past season! The students were very happy to chow down on fresh cherries while working on their reading and writing. We have partnership with Starbucks where we get day-old pastries, but many people who are diabetic can’t eat them. Fruit is an important and healthy alternative.


Sistering

Sistering’s Drop Ins provide basic services to women who are homeless, underhoused, low income or marginalized and are looking for a safe and welcoming place to go during the day. In a welcoming, non-judgmental environment women can access much-needed supports. 

How do you put the fruit to good use? 

We make applesauce and distribute fresh fruit to our clients, who appreciate it very much. One of our clients uses grapes to make jelly. When a delivery of fruit is made, it reaches over 300 clients per week.


Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence)

In 1985, Na-Me-Res began offering emergency shelter to Toronto-based Aboriginal men who were without a place to live. The 26-bed shelter grew quickly to accommodate the growing needs of the community and as a greater understanding of the underlying reasons for Aboriginal homelessness emerged, Na-Me-Res implemented support programs to address those causes. largest social housing provider in Canada and the second largest in North America.

What impact has NFFTT’s fruit sharing program had on your community? 

Fruit is used as part of our supportive housing meal. Receiving fruit has helped us cut down on our produce costs, which is really beneficial. We like knowing that we have a positive relationship with a community agency that is promoting local food. 

“Receiving fruit has helped us cut down on our produce costs, which is really beneficial. We like knowing that we have a positive relationship with a community agency that is promoting local food.”


Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre

Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre is a charitable, multi-service neighbourhood centre that offers a broad range of recreational, social and capacity-building programs to area residents. For over 40 years, Eastview has played a vital role in the lives of community’s members of all ages. The centre incorporates Eastview Toronto Boys & Girls Club, as well as a wide variety of programs and services for children 0 – 6, adults, seniors and newcomers.

How do you share the bounty?  

NFFTT provides us with fresh apples, and many other types of fruit to distribute through our Food Bank, and to serve in our drop-in meals.


Evangel Hall Mission

Evangel Hall Mission helps homeless and socially isolated individuals find a safe haven from the streets. Every day, ehm will feed, clothe, and find shelter for up to 200 men and women. They provide material, emotional and spiritual help that breaks the bonds of loneliness and despair. Everybody is welcomed with a warm smile and kind heart.

What impact has NFFTT’s fruit sharing program had on your community? 

All the fruit is shared or cooked in jams and desserts. If there is extra, we share it with other groups. The fruit has inspired tenants to cook together on different occasions. It has also inspired healthier eating habits among our clients.


Fort York Food Bank

For more than a decade, FYFB been delivering a program of integrated services focused on reconnecting people with their community. They do this by working with partners who share the vision to feed the hungry by providing the basic nutritional requirements to individuals and families in need, and help people get on track by providing counselling, training and advocacy to help people find jobs, safe housing and appropriate social/community programs.

How do you share the bounty? 

Apples and grapes seem to be the favourites!  We utilize the fruit sometimes for our meal program, but if possible, we like to pass it on to clients that have tough health issues and those with restricted diets. As we’re the highest volume multi-service agency in the GTA, we could always use more fruit. We feed approximately 2500 people per month.

What impact has NFFTT’s fruit sharing program had on your community? 

We have a client that is quite ill, and is undergoing chemotherapy and the whole works. She has always been grateful for the sheer freshness of the fruit and that it’s truly locally grown. The smile she gives us when were able to give her grapes and apples makes our day!

Further Reading

Canning Workshop With Agency Partner

How Our Partners Are Putting Fruit To Good Use

Planting the Seeds for Growth: NFFTT Transitions to a Membership Model