Newtonbrook food bank helping Ukrainian refugees new to the community

A group of volunteers are helping to feed families in Newtonbrook as costs rise and more are acessing this resource. Brandon Rowe has more.

By Brandon Rowe

An influx of refugees from Ukraine in the Newtonbrook neighbourhood are just some of the many people who have been accessing the North York Harvest Food Bank, run by a few hardworking volunteers.

Ukrainian refugees that have fled the war and come to Canada often are left with nothing and don’t know much English when they arrive.

Luckily for them, some of the dozen volunteers and staff are from different parts of the world who speak a number of languages including Ukrainan and Russian.

Food bank manager Elis Prokopets said they have been registering between 10 to 15 families from Ukraine on a weekly basis.

“They are so grateful for the support. I can help them and translate for them and they are happy we can provide that support,” she said.

The North York Harvest Food Bank was founded in 1986 as a volunteer-driven organization.

It currently collects more than two million pounds of food each year and distributes it to a number of different locations throughout the GTA.

“I think it’s really nice to give back. If you have love I think you can give love too.”

Tom Kanabe has been a volunteer the food bank located at Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue West, which services the Newtonbrook community, for over a year.

Kanabe said when he first moved to Toronto, he had to use a food bank and felt that now it would be a good way to give back to his community.

“I’ve stabilized my life to the point that I can actually do this and help other people and it’s important because there are a lot of people that need help and a lot of people are scared to ask for help,” explained Kanabe.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely led to an increase of clients in the area needing to use food bank resources.

“We’ve gone from 60 clients over two days to 160 clients a day,” shared Kanabe.

Inflation rates have also led to more people having to access food banks with the increasing price of groceries. Food Banks Canada said food banks are already stretched thin due to these costs and the extra residents accessing this resource.

This means that volunteers have been working extra hard to help ensure Newtonbrook residents are able to feed themselves and their families.

“I think it’s really nice to give back. If you have love I think you can give love too. So if you see someone in need it’s really nice to give,” added volunteer Tes Mudia.

The food bank not only provides food but also resources for furniture and clothes among other things.

They are always looking for donations and more volunteers and if you’d like more information on how you can support this community initiative, you can visit their website.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today