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Daily CSR
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Going Beyond The Traditional Food Distribution Practice


United Way & General Mills collaborate to increase Peel Region’s food security.

Dailycsr.com – 25 October 2019 – On October 16, 2019, the “United Way Greater Toronto” announced about its increased “food security” in Peel Region. General Mills has provided a fund of “$1-million” through which the United Way intends to open “six Community Food System Grants in Mississauga”, wherein they will also promote “community education in a two-year food security initiative”.
The said attempt explore going beyond the practice of “traditional food distribution” as reaches out to “community agencies, residents and partners across the food system” to maximise the food access.
According to statistics, every one in eight households has to deal with food insecurity, implying financial crisis affecting their “physical and mental health and well-being”. In fact, even where food availability is not an issue, the GTA food banks are witnessing an increasing number of people visiting them. As General Mills’ press release:
“The Mississauga Food Bank reports an 18 per cent increase in the number of residents accessing their network of food banks and meal programs in 2018”.
Here is the list of six new “Community Food Systems Grants” which will reach out to the residents of Mississauga in need, as mentioned by General Mills’ press release:
  • Seva Food Bank, Fundamentals of Cooking Classes. These cooking classes in Seva’s new Malton-based Community Teaching Kitchen will bring together volunteers and chefs with families in need to show client families how to use all the nutritious items in the food bank to prepare healthy meals on a lean budget at home.
  • Ecosource, Deep Roots. This program will connect residents who experience barriers to food access with a network of ten community gardens across Mississauga to tailor gardens to local needs, lead food-based workshops and build the capacity of community partners to address emerging challenges.
  • WellFort Community Health Services, on behalf of a collaborative of organizations, Peel Food Action Council. The first of its kind in Peel Region, this Council will be a platform for coordinated action to improve community-level food security. It will work intentionally with community, public and private sectors across Peel to identify local food issues, understand the food environment, and map out actions to improve and address food access and security in Peel.
  • Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, Food Brings People Together. This program will create a toolkit to help newcomers and refugees in Sheridan access local food services and supports.
  • The Mississauga Food Bank, Matching Client Needs with Local Support. This program will build relationships with local grocery chains and discount outlets to donate surplus product for food bank network distribution.
  • MIAG Centre for Diverse Women & Families, Nourishing Communities. This community development organization offers food education, cooking techniques, food safety and handling workshops, and food demonstration and testing for newcomers and others who are experiencing low income in Malton, Hurontario and Dundas, and Dixie and Bloor areas”.
In the words of the Vice President of “Community Investment and Development” at United Way Greater Toronto, Ruth Crammond:
“Access to appropriate, healthy, life-giving food is a universal right, and nevertheless, thousands of our neighbours across Peel Region go without. Food security is both an immediate and a systemic issue – and inextricably linked to poverty. The grant recipients will help families put food on the table in varied, creative, and dignified ways”.
The President, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer of General Mills, Mary Jane Melendez said:
“At General Mills, we believe in the power of food as a force for good in our communities. We are proud to work together with our longtime partners at United Way Greater Toronto to ensure everyone in our hometown community of Mississauga has affordable and reliable access to the food they need and prefer in order to thrive.”
While, the executive director of Ecosource, Britt McKee added:
“At Ecosource, we believe achieving food security in Mississauga is possible through enhanced cooperation and innovation across all players in the food system. It is our collective responsibility to work together to address the complex barriers to food access residents face by implementing creative and culturally appropriate solutions that are specific to Mississauga. This generous support will allow us to strengthen collaboration among community agencies to achieve our shared vision of a city in which all residents have the food they need to thrive.”