Foodshare loses 20 student positions; funding for school summer programs in question

The PC government has eliminated a program that gave 20 vulnerable students work and free-time programming at FoodShare Toronto. Summer jobs at Toronto schools are also on hold because the province cut $25 million from education programming.

Foodshare is located just outside of Mount Dennis. It “ prioritizes students who are behind in credits, newcomers, students from low-income families, racialized students and students with learning disabilities”, according to Faisal Hassan, who criticized the decision to cut funding at Queen’s Park this week. The students are “employed, supported and mentored”. FoodShare  provides “them with the opportunity to earn money, job skills and up to two co-op credits.”

Hassan asked the Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, why the government is “turning its back on organizations like FoodShare, which arm students with the skills to allow them to succeed in today’s workplace”.

Thompson repeatedly dodged the question. Instead of answering with details about FoodShare or the Focus on Youth program, she spoke rather nonsensically about McDonald’s accepting applications over Snapchat—apparently not noticing the irony of putting screens and grease over Foodshare’s focus on healthy fruits and veg.

Good Food Box coming to town

Foodshare is coming to town. The food-justice organization is moving to the LEF building on Industry street.

This is great news—and I’d be willing to bet that with a few volunteers we could get a Good Food Box program going. 1

The GFB is awesome: for $18, they deliver a weekly recycling-container-size box of fresh fruits and vegetables to a neighbourhood community organizer. (A small box is $13.) We had one in our old neighbourhood, and we loved it.

Other, yuppier companies like Mama Earth run the same kind of business, but they’re twice the price and half as cool. The Good Food Box is a non-profit, volunteer-driven, justice-focused organization.

Let’s do it! Who will volunteer to be the coordinator?

Thanks to Sophia for the tip.