John’s Update (April 6)

Dear Neighbours,

As all of us struggle to find ways to safely get groceries to our homes, many of our neighbours have an extra worry: they can’t afford enough food to feed their families. Just as the economic situation worsens, two of the three food banks serving Willowdale have closed their doors, at least temporarily.

All levels of government are working with several organizations to help keep food banks open.

In Toronto, the Mayor today announced several new city initiatives:

Food Delivery for Some Seniors The City is partnering with Red Cross and other agencies to deliver food hampers to seniors and others in need who are unable to leave their homes to get food and who don’t have assistance to get food from family, friends or neighbours. Beginning April 7, Red Cross will be accepting calls at 1-833-204-9952 for those who require this service. Greater details on eligibility are not immediately available.

211 The best source for up-to-date information on community food program availability is 211. Program listings are updated daily as information is received from providers. Residents can call 211 directly for information or view a map of local service providers on the 211 website,

Here are some ways that those of us fortunate enough to have more than we need can feed the needy and nourish our souls at the same time.

  1. If a neighbour needs groceries, drop some off to them  — if you can do so by observing all social distancing and practices to prevent spread of the virus.

  2. Drop off extra non-perishable food at fire stations or North York Harvest food bins outside grocery stores, such as at Loblaws, Metro, Whole Foods, or No Frills — again, only if you can do so while maintaining social distancing at all times.

  3. Make a donation online or by phone to a food bank. Those that serve our area include:

  4. North York Harvest Food Bank, 416-635-7771,

  5. Salvation Army Food Bank, 416-225-7968,

  6. Meals on Wheels and More,

As the virus takes a heart-wrenching toll on the most vulnerable, especially those in nursing homes, I’m reminded of this uplifting video of Fix You. For the Coldplay version, click here.