Latest updates 09/01/2020
TORONTO, September 1, 2020 | Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) and South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) are proud to announce the launch of the Harmony Community Food Centre.

Harmony CFC, a program of South Riverdale Community Health Centre, joins 12 existing Community Food Centres across the country that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all. These centres offer programs, such as drop-in meals, community kitchens and civic engagement, that increase food access, build skills and connection, and advance social change. Community Food Centres Canada provides funding to support core operations and programming.

During COVID-19, Community Food Centres have shifted focus to healthy meals and food hampers for takeaway and delivery. In July, Harmony CFC opened its outdoor Good Food Access Market, providing local community members with vital access to affordable fruits and vegetables.

Harmony CFC is located in East York, a community with higher than average rates of poverty and unemployment compared to the rest of Toronto. It’s also home to multiple newcomer populations. With over 40 years of service in the neighbourhood, SRCHC identified a need for better access to healthy, affordable food for vulnerable community members, especially seniors living alone and people living with physical disabilities.

“We are excited to be one of twelve Community Food Centres across the country. We welcome the opportunity to expand and offer innovative programming to support existing clients and resources to invite new participants into the space,” said David Livingston-Lowe, Manager, Integration & Service at Harmony Community Food Centre. “The site is a shared space with our Senior Active Living Centres that operates in four different languages, creating unique opportunities for engagement and intergenerational development.”

“COVID has shown us just how food insecurity and poverty impact the health of communities. With the support of CFCC, Harmony CFC scaled up food production and distribution as a response to assisting vulnerable community members and families to ensure safe access to nutritious food to stay healthy during the pandemic,” said Jason Altenberg, CEO, SRCHC. “We know there are high rates of unemployment and poverty, much higher than city averages, as well as multiple dense low-income housing buildings and newcomer populations.”

“Through the pandemic, Harmony Community Food Centre has been there for their community, providing access to good food and support,” said Nick Saul, CEO, Community Food Centres Canada. “We’re proud to partner with South Riverdale Community Health Centre to build a welcoming space that brings people together around good food. Thanks to this partnership, SRCHC will be even better equipped to use food as a tool to improve the health and well-being of community members. This is more important than ever, as COVID has left 1 in 7 Canadians struggling to put food on the table.”
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Media contacts:
Andrea Laing, South Riverdale Community Health Centre | 437-688-2688 | alaing@srchc.com
Kennedy Sherwood, Community Food Centres Canada | 519-496-3743 | kennedy@cfccanada.ca

About Harmony Community Food Centre
Harmony Community Food Centre, a program of South Riverdale Community Health Centre, in partnership with Community Food Centres Canada, is a welcoming place where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. We believe that an equitable and just community is one where everyone can access nutritious, affordable, safe, culturally relevant, and delicious food. Harmony CFC offers programs in three core areas: healthy food access, healthy food skills, and education and engagement.

About South Riverdale Community Health Centre
South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) has been providing frontline health services in Toronto’s east end for more than 40 years. In 2017, SRCHC joined Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Organization network, and in 2019, began to expand the partnership by establishing a Community Food Centre space at 2 Gower Street in East York.

About Community Food Centres Canada
Community Food Centres Canada builds dynamic and responsive Community Food Centres and food programs that support people to eat well, connect with their neighbours and contribute, through advocacy and mutual support, to a more just and inclusive Canada. With our 200+ partners, we work to eradicate poverty, food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of low-income Canadians. Learn more at cfccanada.ca