Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Indigenous Service Committee of the RC of Toronto approved the immediate distribution of food cards to 182 students at the Wandering Spirit School and is working on grants to the Anishnawbe Health Foundation and the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council. This is just one part of the club’s response to COIVID-19 with the other philanthropic Committees doing an equivalent amount and the Foundation planning more grants. The Indigenous Service Committee was able to move quickly to assist families and students at the Wandering Spirit School (TDSB formerly First Nations School). The committee has worked with the school for years with Career Days, lunch program supports and other ways. When the school closed, students and their families lost access to breakfast, lunch and two snacks provided by the food and nutrition program. In the past Rotary has filled this gap during the summer. We were aware of the immediate need and our new member Darcy Higgins had a contact with Elise Twyford the Vice Principal. Quick access to $50.00 food cards was facilitated by the Metro at Bayview and Eglinton – who had 182 cards on hand. We had money left in the committee budget so all this came together with a committee meeting on April 2 and delivery of the cards on April 6 to Elise Twyford. This direct channel for delivering the cards into the hands of the family was crucial. Cards were mailed to parents later that week. The Rotary Club of Toronto has also worked closely with Anishnawbe Health who were able to deliver food hampers and grocery gift cards to their most vulnerable clients during the COVID-19 emergency. In partnership other individuals and organizations, a total of 563 food hampers and grocery gift cards were delivered to clients.