Canadian South Asian Growth and Support Services (CSAGSS) is multi-service organization which aims to lift their community out of hunger and poverty. They believe in serving their community with Respect, Equity, Care, and dignity, and work in three main areas to improve food security, health and wellness, and Community Engagement.
Located within one of Daily Bread Food Bank’s 20 priority areas, CSAGSS serves the communities of Morning Side and Mornelle Court. Morning Side is home to 17, 575 residents with 72% of residents identifying as a visible minority, 22% are low income, and many are immigrants.
Mornelle Court is a community of seven high-rise buildings and over 9000 residents. Located between Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park and Malvern, it is an underserved isolated neighbourhood, both socially, and economically with very little access to healthy affordable food.
The grassroots nature of their organization has allowed CSAGSS to adapt quickly during the pandemic and effectively respond to the needs of their community. Prior to COVID-19, their food pantry was seeing approximately 400 visits monthly, now they serve more than 700 families each month.
Part of their food pantry’s success has been driven by their efforts to actively build relationships outside of the program with Toronto Community Housing Staff, the area’s Community Development Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and other local agencies providing support and resources.
These relationships have allowed them to open another food bank in the Tuxedo Court community serving the 5,500 residents living in the five buildings that make up Tuxedo Court. 81% of Tuxedo Court’s residents are considered visible minorities; the majority are South Asians followed by Asians and Afro-Canadians.
Executive Director, Manjura Rehman understands that food not only nourishes the body, but also brings people together. By encouraging the local community to get involved in running the program, the Food Pantry is now primarily run by Toronto Community Housing residents and clients looking to give back to their community.
We are so grateful to be working alongside organizations like CSAGSS as they work tirelessly to ensure continuous uninterrupted food services to everyone, especially their most vulnerable neighbours.
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