Spring to Action: These Organizations Need Your Support during COVID-19.

These Organizations Need Your Help:

In the spirit of coming together around the harvest, we want to encourage that same spirit of sharing in the face of COVID-19. When we rally together, our communities grow stronger. Although we can’t do so physically at the moment, we we’re hoping to encourage this same spirit of sharing in other ways.

We’ve put together a list of our community partner organizations who have expressed a need for support at this time. Many of these organizations support vulnerable communities who will be deeply impacted in this state of emergency. Here’s a list of what these organizations are doing during this time and how you can help immediately:

Sistering 24-7 Drop-In

Sistering is  open and continuing to provide support to homeless and vulnerable women. Support for their programming is needed now more than ever. The organization is also trying to offer more in-home services, including grocery delivery, in the wake of cancelling their day programs. The best support you can provide right now is financial so they can buy items they need. Click here to donate to Sistering.

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic 

BSCC is a specialized clinic for women experiencing violence. They assist approximately 4,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation and language interpretation. They are remaining open to provide essential services during this time. Click here to make a donation.

Fred Victor

Fred Victor is welcoming food donations that are nutritious, and rich in good ingredients – the kind of food they want in their own home. They’re looking for donations of canned vegetables, fruit and soup, canned fish, beans and nuts, dairy alternatives, grains, spices, cooking oils, and hygiene supplies. Here is a full list of their needs and drop off locations. Financial donations are also extremely helpful during this time.

Fife House

Fife House’s Homeless Outreach Program (HOP) helps over 300 clients each year with health and housing navigation and linkages to care and support. With the cancellation of their spring fundraising event, A Taste for Life, and as they prepare to provide even more support to our vulnerable clients at this difficult time, they’re calling supporters to consider making a donation in support of HOP at: www.fifehouse.org/donate

Horizons for Youth

Horizons for Youth is asking willing community members for non-perishable food donations and monetary donations during this time so they can continue to support the 45 homeless youth that live at they agency. You can make a donation to support Horizons for Youth here.

Foodshare & Black Creek Community Farm

Foodshare and Black Creek Community Farm are delivering emergency Good Food Boxes across the city, focusing on Toronto’s most vulnerable communities and individuals. They’re leading a rapid response effort to offer door-to-door delivery of fresh produce to as many people as possible at no charge. Please donate here.

Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre

Eastview is running an emergency Food Bank that will run from the East Gym Door at Kempton Howard Park (86 Blake St), and is currently running on Tuesdays (Households of 3+ people) and Thursdays (Households of 1 – 2 people only) from 10:30 am – 1 pm. If you want to donate to Eastview’s Emergency Food Bank, please donate here.

Harmony Community Food Centre

Harmony Community Food Centre has shifted their focus to provide emergency meals to the community. Many of the most vulnerable including those experiencing homelessness and seniors who are isolated more than ever are finding themselves cut off from what they need to stay healthy and safe. Staff are pitching in to prep daily meals and snacks being delivered to those still accessing our services at South Riverdale Community Health Centre – SRCHC 955 Queen St. East location, Moss Park CTS site, and directly to people’s homes. Donations to these emergency efforts can be made here. Please choose “Harmony Community Food Centre” as the specific fund in the drop-down menu.

The Stop Community Food Centre

The Stop Community Food Centre is shifting its resources away from community programming to emergency food access services. The Stop’s Food Bank will run Mondays and Fridays, 12pm-3pm. The Drop-In will be serving takeaway meals on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9am-10am for breakfast, 12pm-1pm for lunch. Click here to donate to the Stop Community Food Centre.

This is by no means a comprehensive list as there are so many organizations in Toronto doing great work at this time. Please feel free to reach out if your community organization is also in support at this time.

What We’re Doing

We’re still a ways away from the fruit season, and in the meantime staff are staying isolated at home. All our spring training sessions, events and tree giveaways are on hold for the time being, and will be re-scheduled once it is safe to do so.

If you’re at home with extra time on your hands, we recommend learning how to prune your fruit tree. We’ve put together a guide on pruning 101 and are happy to provide virtual support. Please reach out at info@notfarfromthetree.org if you have questions about pruning your tree or need some additional guidance.

Stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy!

Further Reading

Squirrels and Raccoons – The Fruit Bandits of Toronto!

Edible Nuts of Toronto