Torontonians (and Westonians!) have raised almost $9000 for Comal Y Canela’s community food bank.
The most recent donation was—wow—$1000 from Becel.
Comal Y Canela is run by Yasmin De Leon, who makes more than 100 food packages every Wednesday, distributed no-questions-asked to community members in need. The fundraising, started by Charmaine Baan, initially had a goal of $4000—which it passed quite handily.
Comal Y Canela has blown past its fundraising goals. They’ve now raised more than $7,000 of a $4,000 target.
Yasmen made a short thank-you video, saying, “the city of Toronto opened their hearts and provided me with the support and gave me the strength I needed to go on, and I’m very thankful and grateful. I will be able to feed another 100 families this week, and with your continued support, I will continue to do this until I no longer have the strength.”
You can help Comal Y Canela, the country’s best Mexican restaurant, raise money for its informal food bank, which hands out groceries no questions asked. If you have any money to spare, I know it will go a long way.
Every week, Yasmen De Leon helps 125 families with bags of dried goods, fruits and vegetables, and eggs, all handed out on a table outside her tiny restaurant.
Charmaine Baan, the organizer, has raised $1471 of $4000 so far.
BlogTO made a video about her food bank, and TVO has a wonderful article about Yasmen De Leon:
De Leon and her family left Mexico when she was five. They lived in the United States for four years before moving to Canada, where they spent six years waiting for refugee status.
“We went to a food bank,” she says. “And they couldn’t help us, because we didn’t have Canadian ID.”
The family went back to Mexico, then headed to Guatemala, where her father was murdered. Her mother packed her five children into the car and drove to Canada.
“My mother was a single mom of five kids,” De Leon says. “Many times, we had to go to the food bank. And, yet, she never denied anyone a plate of food. All my friends ate at our house. I remember, one time, we made peanut butter, pita, and Cheerio sandwiches. Because that’s all we had. If we see our neighbours like our children, then we would be much better as a society and a community.”
As if there was any doubt that that Comal Y Canela is the finest restaurant in Canada, they’ve gone and outdone themselves.
Last week, even when business likely wasn’t smashing, Comal Y Canela organized a free food pantry for those “most in need in our community. To those who through no fault of their own are now unemployed and unable to obtain support from traditional support systems”.
Comal Y Canela will have another food pantry tomorrow, April 1.
Marion from the BIA passes along this important information: local restaurants remain open for take out and delivery, even after the announcement yesterday that most businesses must close. Uber Eats is offering free delivery, too. Some Weston restaurants are
P & M Family Restaurant
Ali Baba Middle Eastern
Wiff African Restaurant
P & M Family Restaurant
Perfect Blend Café
Sun Crisp Fish and Chips
Tim Hortons Coffee Shop
Chicken Roast Middle Eastern
God Bless Canada
Kitchen King Jerk
Auseff Halal Middle Eastern
Living Well Caribbean
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Comal Y Canela, Canada’s finest Mexican restaurant.
When Ms. De Leon was five, without warning, they left in the middle of the night. While hiking over the border into California, a member of their migrant group was shot and killed by a “coyote” (smuggler).
“It was so cold that they covered me with the dead man’s jacket.”