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Fresh food. Close to home.

Fresh Food Weekly was addressing chronic disease by using a free [to recipients] nutrition-based intervention program to deliver fresh food on a biweekly basis. 

We raised funds to buy fresh and locally-sourced food, then packed this food into 'meal boxes' and then we delivered these meal boxes to the same recipients every other week. And for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we raised extra funds so we could give one-time meal boxes to local low-income families. 

We gave.
Free food.

We serve populations who face health inequalities as they're at greater risk of developing chronic diseases, with the priority populations being people with disabilities, people of advanced age (65+), and Indigenous Peoples living on a social benefit such as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Ontario Old Age Security (OAS), the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and CPP Disability. 

Ripple of Kindness Award Recipient

We raised funds

Shopping at Costco

We bought in Bulk

Packing Meal Boxes

We packed Food

Delivering Meal Boxes

We Delivered It

We're experiencing a public health crisis.

Household food insecurity is an urgent and worsening public health problem.  Canada’s economy and health care system is at the forefront of national concern as the number of Canadians experiencing food insecurity reaches an all-time high. By 2022, the percentage of Canadians living in food-insecure households had risen in every province. This means that 18.4% of Canadians - or 6.9 million people, including almost 1.8 million children (every one in four children under the age of 18), living in Canada struggled to access the food they needed. - PROOF  When Canadians are approved for government-funded disability supports, or reach the age of 65, our government has already determined they’re not capable of financially supporting themselves because of their physical and/or mental limitations. Yet the financial supports they’re provided remain so inexcusably low, it’s causing our disabled and elderly citizens to experience unprecedented levels of hunger.  The result of chronic household food insecurity is chronic disease.  And more specifically, it’s diabetes, hypertension and obesity.  Research tells us that food-insecure households:  - Make emergency room visits more often. - Have longer stays within the hospital setting. - Have a greater reliance on physician and home care services; and - Have higher prescription drug use.

We addressed immediate needs. 

Our biweekly meal box delivery program contributed to poverty reduction by providing access to fresh and nutritious food and by breaking down every single barrier preventing low-income families from getting enough fresh food into their homes. We treated food insecurity with on-going food access, and thus addressed the immediate and basic human needs of our program recipients. Regular, on-going fresh food deliveries stabilizes household food insecurity and thereby decreases the long-term strain on Canada’s health care system.

We care about the things that matter.

When people are provided with food options that reflect their dietary needs, it gives them a sense of dignity. It demonstrates that an importance has been placed on their physical and mental well-being and that that is something to be invested in. Furthermore, the privacy of having food delivered to them at home instead of outside in the elements, after waiting in long lineups, also provides dignity, making recipients feel more like human beings and less like animals.

Mission Statement: “Providing a free, fresh and locally-sourced food delivery service to low-income families.” 

 

Charitable Purpose: To reduce the long-term demand for health care services. 

Vision Statement: To breakdown every single barrier preventing low-income households from eating three meals a day.

Our journey

through the years

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Learn more about how Fresh Food Weekly started

Our years in numbers

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Raised

+$176K

in donations

Delivered

2,867

fresh food meal boxes

Gave

$362K

worth of fresh food

Funds raised over time

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$176,868.76

Grand total of

raised.

Our programs

Our reports

What we've accomplished goes to show what can be achieved when someone with Lived Experience makes decisions."

 

- Leah Dyck

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Key Metrics Report

Impact Report

Impact Report

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A National Food Systems Plan

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National Food Security Preparedness & Response Plan

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Modelling Health Care Cost Pathways

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Strategy for Choosing Farm Land Plots

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Food Dispensary Floor Plan

Our plan forward

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Fresh food isn't close to home for thousands in Barrie.

We know it’s cheaper to feed people than it is to treat them for chronic diseases caused from not feeding them. That’s why we want to conduct a three-year research study in partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and their Chief Research Scientist, Dr. Giulio DiDiodato, to prove it.

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Furthermore, by the end of 2023, the number of Barrie residents receiving Ontario Works (OW) rose to 2,274; a 35% increase in just two years. 

And in Innisfil, the number of cases rose by a whopping 42%.

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Interestingly, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates have not increased in Barrie, and they've actually declined in Innisfil. 

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Innisfil ODSP Rates.png

Yet in July 2023, the Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services announced they had no intention of raising ODSP rates and simply told recipients of the ODSP and Ontario Works to get a job. Now, the average cost of living in Barrie is $3,839/month, which means disability benefits equate to 25 percent of the cost to survive. 

Barrie's Income Levels

It also means that

in Barrie and Innisfil live on 25 percent or less than what it takes to survive here, and this doesn't include anyone on Old Age Security or CPP Disability. The Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services has pushed this problem onto the Ministry of Health because the eventual results of this level of food deprivation are chronic diseases. 

 

Access to fresh and nutritious food is undeniably a medically necessary service and by not covering these essential healthcare costs, we’ve condemned our most vulnerable to a slow and painful death. 

11,266 people

Proposed Research Study 

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Leah Dyck: Finding the path to food security

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The VanDyck Foundation

Charitable Registration Number: 77364 5148 RR0001

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