Food security is becoming a bigger issue for Canadians every day, and youth experiencing homelessness are no exception. 88%of homeless youth have reported making use of charitable food programs to get access to nutritious meals. Not having access to nutritious meals, especially in early life, can lead to long-term negative health outcomes.
Toronto has shared 143,875 meals to date through Mealshare. This unique program turns dining out into helping out. For every Mealshare menu item ordered at a partner restaurant in Toronto, Mealshare donates the cost of a meal for homeless youth at Eva’s.
Between January and May this year alone, Second Harvest delivered 24,335 pounds of food for young people living at Eva’s facilities. Overall, Second Harvest delivers 9.5 million pounds of food across Toronto every year to help people who need it.
Second Harvest focuses on “rescuing” fresh, perishable foods that are often needlessly thrown away. Approximately 80% of the food they recover is perishable. For example, through a recent partnership with a group of potato farmers in P.E.I, Second Harvest receives 50,000 pounds of potatoes. The potatoes are beautiful and nutrient-dense but simply too small to meet the size requirements of retailers.
“We believe in fresh, healthy food, because we think that food is about more than just nourishing the body – it’s about feeding the spirit – which in many ways is equally important in helping those we serve. We believe that everyone has the right to fresh, nutritious food.” – Kiera Toffelmire, Second Harvest
Connecting Food and Culture
Food is such an important part of connecting to heritage, and Toronto is a diverse city. Second Harvest knows how important it is to provide people with food that engages their ethno-cultural and spiritual roots. For example, they are sometimes able to secure Halal products, and their donors help them rescue and redistribute culturally relevant foods for many communities.
What can I do to contribute to food security for homeless youth?
Participate in our World Food Day Contest
You already go out to dinner and post your delicious meals on Instagram anyways! This month, doing just that can provide a meal for homeless youth and win you tickets to Taste Matters, a foodie sampling tour of fine food, wine and craft beer.
Did you know you can eat at great Toronto restaurants and support homeless youth as you dine, at no extra cost to you? Through our partnership with Mealshare, it’s possible.
Join us for Eva’s Taste Matters, presented by TD
Nutrition matters, and taste does to! That’s why we’re hosting this feast of delectable delights that brings together Toronto’s finest food and beverage. Proceeds go to safe shelter, nutritious food and 24-7 support for homeless youth at Eva’s.
Everyday Eva’s provides approximately 231 meals to 77 youth. You can support food security for youth at Eva’s by making a donation.