Community Development

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000

Description

Operating since 1998, the FYFB’s goal is to not only feed the hungry, but help people get back on track. Since its founding, the FYFB has served over 350,000 meals through our community kitchen, and has distributed an additional $8.5 million worth of food to Toronto’s hungry. We serve over 1000 unique clients per month, 40% of which are recent immigrants or refugees. Sadly, our typical client survives on less than $3 per day after housing costs. For our work, the FYFB has been repeatedly ranked by Charity Intelligence as one of Canada’s best charities. A key part of the reason: roughly 97% of our operating budget, which last year was $175,000, goes directly to program delivery. Practically speaking, this leaves no room for capital projects, such as this proposal envisions.

The FYFB Community Revival Project aims to renovate the physical space of the food bank’s dining room, kitchen, intake room and hamper room to become a welcoming restaurant- or grocery store-style environment. While we have sufficient space for our current needs, the space itself is dated. This undermines our effort to preserve our clients’ dignity. Moreover, as the FYFB continues to serve more clients, the space’s layout is now causing over-crowding during our meal program. Even though our hot meal and grocery program are offered free of charge to our clients, they should enjoy the dignity of eating, relaxing, and working in an enjoyable physical environment. Indeed, research shows that the social and economic features of one’s physical environment are linked with mortality, general mental and physical health, and other important health indicators (Commission to Build a Healthier America). Hence, we aim revitalize the FYFB’s inner space, thereby enhancing the same for its clients and community. We envision renovating the space so that everyone working, eating, or picking up groceries feels welcomed and comfortable.

The project also aims to improve the environment by switching to reusable dishes to reduce garbage waste produced at FYFB. We serve over 3,000 meals every month on disposal plates. By switching to reusable plates and adding a dishwasher, we will cut down on our waste, thus improving our environmental impact, not to mention lowering our costs for city garbage disposal.

Recently, two of our long-time volunteers – Christopher McAllister and Frank Christopher – passed away. We will use the revitalization opportunity to dedicate the FYFB’s dining room and hamper room to these two special volunteers, who played a vital role to our community and will be dearly missed. The dining room will have a plaque in honour of Christopher, while the hamper room a plaque in honour of Frank.

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Fort York Food Bank

Location: Toronto