Our community has come together during this pandemic

This month we’ve seen a new spark in our community fostered by creativity and a deep desire to work together to get through this pandemic. Our community has come together to celebrate birthdays with car parades, donate goods and funds for worthy causes, lift our spirits with painted rocks, sidewalk chalk art and messages of positivity in front windows. I am proud to represent our neighbourhood.

As businesses begin to reopen and governments continue to ease restrictions, it is important we continue to wash our hands, stay at home as much as possible, avoid large gatherings and follow physical distancing measures when in public. As residents, we often call upon our local business community to support schools, festivals and organizations. It is our turn to return the favour and I encourage you to consider shopping locally.

Scarborough CARES

In May, we launched CARES – Collective Action and Response for Everyone in Scarborough. This new partnership between the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and the crisis response organization GlobalMedic will improve food security in Scarborough.

The Highland Hall event centre at UTSC has been transformed into a food packaging centre. Redeployed City of Toronto and UTSC staff are repackaging food delivered by GlobalMedic, alongside community and student volunteers. As city and university staff return to their full-time jobs, the facility will continue to be run by students.

Staple foods including rice, lentils, barley and kidney beans are delivered in bulk by GlobalMedic and packaged for direct delivery to consumers. Staples arrive in packages up to 45 kilograms and volunteers repackage food into bags weighing 500 grams for distribution at food banks.

As part of CARES, my office worked alongside local resident, D’Arcy Perkovic to organize a food donation car parade on May 12. We were fortunate to have the support of UTSC Campus Police, Toronto Police, Toronto Fire Services, Highland Creek Scouts and the Toronto Zoo. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment sent mascots Carlton and the Raptor to lend a hand. It was truly a team effort. In 30 minutes, more than 100 vehicles participated and we collected enough food for over 3,800 meals. All food has been donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank. Thank you Scarborough for showing we care.

To continue our effort, please donate to the Daily Bread Food Bank if you are able. You can also drop non-perishable food donations 24/7 at our local Toronto Fire Hall at 5318 Lawrence Ave. E.