A statue honouring missing and murdered Indigenous stands outside Saskatoon police headquarters. Photo by Tim Yaworski

Indigenous centre feeds youth in need

  • July 31, 2020

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre donated 100 supermarket food vouchers and over 200 pre-made meals to help young people in need.

The gift was sent through Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto and will assist those in the Independent Living Program coordinated by Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS) of Toronto. The program helps bridge the transition to adulthood by providing additional support for former crown wards between the age of 18 and 21.

With the situations of many already living in poverty further challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak, Jack Panozzo of Catholic Charities says CCAS moved quickly to accept the donation. The gesture, he says, will go a long way to ensure needs of vulnerable youth within the program are taken care of during this time.

“These young people need help,” said Panozzo. “It is a very generous and important action to take as many living on their own are facing chronic issues of food security. It’s an old story. It should have gone away a long time ago, but it has not.”

A team from the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre delivered the $50 food vouchers and meals to the CCAS offices July 21. The Indigenous agency serves the community in Toronto’s downtown core and clients include the marginalized, homeless and at risk of homelessness. The council provides more than 55,000 meals to persons in need annually and throughout the COVID-19 crisis have been committed to continuing to service vulnerable communities.

Panozzo says the gesture is a powerful example of the organization’s generosity, particularly in this time of crisis.

“They will bend over backwards to help folks, regardless of whether they’re Indigenous or not,” said Panozzo. “I really think they need to be applauded for that.”

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