According to Zakiya Tafari of the Afri-Can Food Basket, he has concerns for the gaps in food access.
“24% of Toronto’s Afro Caribbean and Black households are food insecure.” Said Tafari of the situation. “Many food programs that people accessed, especially seniors, have been shut down. It’s hard for them to get access.”
He also spoke of the importance of said supports including fresh, culturally-specific produce—something the Afri-Can Food Basket has been working to do.
The food hampers were distributed by a number of volunteers, including those from Toronto’s Transit Union, ATU Local 113. Carlos Santos, president, was on site as well helping load and deliver the hampers during Friday’s windy spell.
“A sign fell on our van!” He recounted of the day’s difficulty, and the persistence needed to weather the event. “We live and work in the communities we serve.” ATU Local 113 was also on site over the winter holidays to help with food distribution, and have a deep connection to the local community.
In attendance was also local MPP for Humber River-Black Creek, Tom Rakocevic. Rakocevic has long been an advocate for working class families, having grown up in the Jane-Finch community as a tenant himself. “The work of our local non-profit organizations provides much-needed help to many local families.” Said Rakocevic at the event. “The Ford government must provide adequate and consistent long-term funding to these organizations for an equitable post-COVID recovery.”