Posts Tagged 'Parkdale Community Food Bank'

Student Event – In Parkdale, food for all, community for all

Hunger in Parkdale is about to get 86’d.

For those who don’t speak restaurant-ese, that means knocked off, taken care of, dealt with. You know, eliminated. Or at least that’s the dream we’ll be striving for.

Who’s “we,” you ask? We’re a group of students in Centennial College’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program. We’re teaming up with Toronto food maven Ivy Knight (check her out at swallowfood.com) and the Drake Hotel to raise funds, food and fame for the Parkdale Community Food Bank (PCFB).

From 8 to 10 p.m., Monday, March 18, three local chefs will prepare gourmet macaroni dishes that are free to sample. We’ll also screen the season premiere of Top Chef Canada on the TVs. Last, but not least, we’ll raffle off lots of great prizes from our sponsors.

All we ask is that you bring at least one non-perishable food item for the PCFB, and/or make a cash donation.

So what exactly is the PCFB, anyway?

Parkdale food bankLocated on King St. West, in the heart of Parkdale, the PCFB’s emphasis is on “community.” With 70 core volunteers and more offering their help all the time, there’s no shortage of blood, sweat and tears being poured into the organization’s efforts.

It’s a welcome change from the way things were a few decades ago. For PCFB Executive Director Steven Swain, 31, a sense of community is clearly not what he remembers from growing up in the neighbourhood.

“I’ve had friends shot, I’ve had friends killed—friends that I went to school with,” he recalls. “My friends said, ‘there’s no unity here.’ So I said, ‘we should do something.’”

Now, Swain and his team certainly are doing something.

Thanks to regular support from the Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest, the shelves are well-stocked. They distribute up to five tonnes of food each week. Unfortunately, it’s not always the healthiest food in the world.

“We used to have a hamper system with flour, eggs, that sort of thing. But a lot of people don’t have fridges, so they can’t store the food,” Swain explains. The result is that much of the food they provide lacks nutritional value. “As a diabetic, I couldn’t eat 70 per cent of the food here,” he laments.

Ideal nutrition isn’t the only thing the PCFB is short on, either. The lack of funding has brought the PCFB to the brink of closing before. At that time, they were saved by an emergency fundraising drive.

“We’ve already fired the magic bullet once,” as Swain puts it. Although he says that they’re not at risk of closing right now, it’s clear that funding is one of his biggest concerns. The summer months are when they receive the fewest donations, so he’s working hard to drive down their expenses.

It’s for these reasons that we’re asking everyone to come out, enjoy the food, enjoy the show, win some prizes and HAVE FUN!

What:              86’d Mondays: Macaroni Night & Top Chef Canada Premiere

Why:                To support Parkdale Community Food Bank

When:             8-10 p.m., Monday, Mar. 18, 2013

Where:            The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON

What to bring: Non-perishable food, cash, and an appetite!

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