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Fresh Food Weekly Forced To End Program

Although Fresh Food Weekly has given out a quarter of a million dollars worth of fresh food to thousands of hungry people in Barrie and Innisfil over the last year and a half, our program still hasn't received any funding to keep us alive; such as funding to lease an adequate space, hire staff or buy the equipment we need to operate properly.

As a result, we have to stop running our food delivery programs.

We acknowledge that for the last few months, the program has been run poorly because there’s way too much for one person to do. And, although we have tons of incredible volunteers, what we need is some full-time staff, an operating facility, funding for the food AND operating expenses. Although Leah Dyck can personally raise $80-$100K a year, this isn’t remotely close to what’s needed for a charity to survive, let alone thrive.

We know that Fresh Food Weekly is a great program that’s VERY needed in our community, ESPECIALLY right now. We know that stopping deliveries is the exact opposite of what our community needs. We understand that what we should be doing is doubling in size instead.

We’re committed to doing everything we can to leverage the impact we’ve had over the last two years, and our VISION for a greater impact for many more years, to help us find the managerial and funding support needed to run this food security program the right way.

The Plan Forward: Three-Year Research Study

We also 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.

The Research Study would be conducted and led by Dr. Giulio DiDiodato, the Chief Research Scientist at the RVH and the Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 or 'CATCO' study; a part of the Solidarity Trial led by the World Health Organization.

The Study will determine each Participant’s health care costs incurred by OHIP and ODSP during the three-year period before the Research Study when Participants were severely food insecure, and compare them to the costs incurred by OHIP and ODSP during the three-year Research Study when Participants became food secure through weekly deliveries of fresh food. Fresh Food Weekly's role would simply be to execute weekly deliveries.

This Study will produce the evidence-based research required to inform policy interventions.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to fight food insecurity in our community.

With warm regards,

Leah Dyck


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