Emergency Community Support Fund grant provides fresh food to 75 families in need
St. Philip’s Lutheran Church is thrilled to receive a grant of $37,500 through United Way of Greater Toronto. This funding means St. Philip’s can provide fresh food to 75 families once a week for two months through its Neighbourhood Table @ Home program.
“We are blessed and overjoyed to be amongst the recipients of this generous grant,” says Pastor Tuula Van Gaasbeek. “Timing is everything, and now we can keep supporting our neighbours through the fall. With more money, we’re adding 10 families to our roster of participants for a total of 75.”
Securing this funding will allow St. Philip’s to help families in central Etobicoke—serving vulnerable Canadians amidst the COVID-19 pandemic—by delivering produce boxes and fresh bread.
“We are also grateful to our volunteer drivers, who are playing an integral role in the program’s success,” says Van Gaasbeek.
Fall programming is aimed at parents and developing their food skills.
“We will have weekly themes supported by Zoom sessions on food preparation and loot bags with tools or products related to the theme,” says project coordinator Eunice Hogeveen.
The grant is funded by the Government of Canada; the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund aims to help community-based organizations that serve a pressing social inclusion or well-being need caused by COVID-19.
The demand for fresh, nutritious food remains high in central Etobicoke as the pandemic drags on.
“The Neighbourhood Table @ Home was our way of pivoting during the coronavirus lockdown—normally, we’d host families at our church through a summer program called The Neighbourhood Table,” says Hogeveen. “Our congregation put our heads together and quickly found a way to continue nurturing relationships in the community. We’re feeding families and planting seeds of love and hope right at their doorstep.”