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Civic Impact

First Canadian Place gives big to Canada’s community food centres

Swappers pose with their new goodies during the IRBE's 2014 gift fair

On December 7, Community Food Centres Canada and First Canadian Place took a major step towards curbing Canadian food insecurity. From November 29 to December 4, First Canadian Place pledged to match 10% of sales in their newly redesigned and relaunched Food Terrace. The result? A $25,000 gift, split between CFCC and the Regent Park Community Food Centre.

Christina Palassio, Director of Communications at Community Food Centres Canada, says that partnering with the Food Terrace was a great fit for CFCC. “They were really trying to create a warm, hospitable welcoming place for food in the heart of downtown, and had really incorporated that kind of type of thinking in their space,” she says. “That’s something that we do in our community centres as well.” The terrace, which now includes the French-style cafe Maman and Thai food from Ruby Thai, was reopened earlier this year after renovations.

Regent Park Community Food Centre’s share of the gift will go towards their front-line programming, including community kitchens, gardens, and free healthy meals. CFCC will direct their portion of the First Canadian Place gift towards furthering their national mandate

The gift helps CFCC make significant headway towards their holiday fundraising campaign goal of $75,000. Funds raised during this campaign will go towards supporting community food centres across Canada. CFCC currently supports six established centres—including two in Toronto—and two that are still in development. “We provide with them with stable funding for five years, and a whole bunch of support in program development and evaluation, fundraising, and communication,” says Palassio.

Community food centres offer more than just food, Palassio says, citing the 3.9 million Canadians who are currently food insecure. “They also provide peer support and ways for people to be involved in their communities. Connections to affordable housing supports, for example, or finding ways to talk about issues that face them as individuals and as a community. They provide different access points for people to be empowered and get connected to their community.”
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