The Stop Community Food Centre

The Stop Community Food Centre strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality.

Our Impact Why We Exist

The Stop works with people in Toronto, primarily in the Davenport West and St. Clair West neighbourhoods, who self-identify as income insecure and face social isolation.

We prioritize working with people with multiple intersecting identities who experience disproportionate systemic barriers to access and inclusion. These identities can include race, Indigenous identity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, legal status, age, mental health status, and (dis)ability.

Using food as a tool, we help our community members develop an improved sense of well-being, of community, and of inclusion. The Stop supports people and communities to become healthier, better connected, and more self-determined.

The Stop collaborates with organizations and allies, primarily locally and provincially, to shift the public discourse towards an understanding of the connections between poverty, food insecurity, identity, and health in order to inform progressive public policy.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

For more than 30 years, The Stop has been strengthening and transforming our community. Our innovative programs provide access to healthy food; build skills, health, hope, and connections; and confront the underlying issues that lead to hunger and poverty.

The Stop was born in the mid-1970s, when Reverend Cam Russell and the congregation of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Parish at 103 Bellevue Avenue in downtown Toronto began working with people living on low incomes. In 1982, Stop 103 was incorporated and the parish hall at St. Stephen’s was opened four days a week to support marginalized people.

Over the years, The Stop developed a wide range of community-building programs. In 2002, we redesigned our logo and adopted a new name – The Stop Community Food Centre – that better captured the breadth and depth of our work. In 2012, The Stop launched Community Food Centres Canada, a new national organization that replicates our innovative community food centre model and builds stronger, healthier communities across the country. Our early founders at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields would be proud to know that The Stop’s work continues to be guided by the same principles of dignity, justice, and respect, and that volunteers have remained vital to every aspect of our work. 

Today, The Stop carries out its work at two locations: 1884 Davenport Road (home to our food bank, drop-in, community kitchens, perinatal and family support, Community Advocacy Office, and civic engagement programs) and 601 Christie Street in Artscape Wychwood Barns (our sustainable food production and education centre and home to our urban agriculture programs and weekly farmers’ market).

Accolades and Accomplishments

  • As one of the first food banks in Canada, the creator of the Healthy Beginnings perinatal program, as well as the country’s first community food centre, The Stop has always been on the forefront of developing responses to hunger and poverty.
  • We have welcomed visitors from across the city and around the world to see how we meld respectful emergency food services with advocacy and community development.
  • In 2005, The Stop received the City of Toronto’s first Green Toronto Environmental Award of Excellence and in 2006 we received the Social Justice Award for Neighbourhood organizing from the Centre for Social Justice.
  • In 2008, our former Executive Director, Nick Saul, received the Jane Jacobs Award honouring outstanding Torontonians who enhance our city’s vitality.
  • In 2009, our former Urban Agriculture Coordinator, Rhonda Teitel-Payne, was chosen as one of the Toronto Foundation’s Vital People.
  • In 2013, The Stop was named "Best Local Food Group" by readers of NOW magazine.
  • In 2013, The Stop also received an award in the Community Service category at the Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards.
  • In 2014, our former Education Coordinators, Kanaka Kulendran and Xuan-Yen Cao, were given the ‘Rising Star’ Award from Toronto Botanical Garden’s Aster Awards.
  • In 2016, our Community Advocacy Coordinator, Mark Woodnutt, was chosen as one of the Toronto Foundation's Vital People.

Our Programs How We Do It

The Stop offers a wide range of programs, divided into four change pathways:

Community services, including our Food Bank, Drop-in, and peer advocacy, seek to meet people’s immediate needs, while community programs are focused on building supportive groups—these include our community kitchens, urban agriculture initiatives, and our perinatal and family support.

Social enterprises—The Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns and our Good Food Market—generate income as they contribute to our social mission.

Finally, our change-making activities include public education, strategic communications, activism, research, and advocacy that focus on systems-level change. This includes our civic engagement programs.

What You Can Do

Community Services & Programs

Donation Impact

Grants to this programming will increase our ability to:

  • provide innovative responses to hunger and poverty. 
  • ensure a safe, nurturing place where isolated and marginalized community members can receive support and forge connections and friendships.
  • staff and supply our community kitchens and gardens.
  • provide support for community members around immigration, income security, housing, and employment.
  • provide an affordable communtiy market, as well as support for local, sustainable farmers.
  • improve access to high-quality food for all.

Social Enterprises

Donation Impact

Grants to this programming will increase our ability to:

  • provide an affordable communtiy market, as well as support for local, sustainable farmers.
  • improve access to high-quality food for all.

Change-Making

Donation Impact

Grants to this programming will increase our ability to:

  • ensure a safe, nurturing place where isolated and marginalized community members can receive support and forge connections and friendships.
  • address the root causes of poverty and to advocate for improved public policies.
  • provide support for community members around immigration, income security, housing, and employment.

Contact

Kathe Rogers
Communications Manager
416.652.7867 x250
Charitable Number: 119192763RR0001

Finance & Governance

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