When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto, it was our city’s most vulnerable people and communities who felt the impacts the hardest, Scarborough is one of these communities. Under-served in the best of times, many food banks and meal programs across Scarborough were forced to close down to adhere to Public Health safety measures.
Agincourt Pentecostal Church is one of these food banks, that popped up to serve the needs of their community back in the fall before COVID-19 hit, when the Victoria Park Sheppard Food Bank had to close down due to construction. Run solely by volunteers, they were unable to maintain their operations to ensure the safety of their clients and volunteers. Daily Bread Food Bank and the Toronto Public Library opened up two pop-up food banks in the area to ensure that their neighbours continued to have access to food.
When libraries reopened, and the temporary food banks closed down, Emmanuel Life Management Centre opened up in the parking lot, to adhere to physical distancing requirements. With no storage and little resources, they remain committed to providing food for their neighbours in need.
Agincourt Community Services Association has also been serving Scarborough for over 40 years, and their Dorset Park Community Hub is the largest food bank in the city. Prior to COVID-19 they were serving approximately 7700 people per month, in May of this year, they served just under 20,000 people.
Partnering with Toronto Community Housing, Daily Bread Food Bank has also been able to open up a food bank to support the neighbourhood of Chester Le, a group of townhouses that have never had access to a food bank. The importance of this location is that it is run by local residents who have a deep understanding of the needs of their community, and are dedicated to ensuring that their neighbours have access to the food and resources they need.
Daily Bread Food Bank is proud to be supporting grassroots organizations that are working to ensure that everyone’s right to food is realized even in the most difficult times.