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As we continue to recognize the importance of financially supporting our community church during this pandemic, so too do we see the need for ongoing support of the United Church's Mission & Service Fund. It is always wonderful to hear the stories of what this fund is doing and providing for those in need and so I share this story from the United Church's website today.

"Over the last year, the need for food has skyrocketed. Since the pandemic began, Fred Victor, a charity based in Toronto, Ontario, has served over 180,000 free and low-cost meals to people in need―a 40 percent increase over previous years.

Growing food security issues are just one of the reasons why Fred Victor’s community gardens are so necessary right now.

In addition to providing vital food services, shelter, counselling, and job training to support people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness, Fred Victor runs over 240 gardens where local community members garden together. It is an activity they can still enjoy amid lockdown restrictions.

“The pandemic has pushed more people into poverty. More people are experiencing food insecurity and hunger. That is why we see these gardens as more than just plots of land with plants growing in them. For every harvest that makes its way onto plates and into bellies, and for every resident who feels empowered by their surroundings, these gardens represent our vision for healthy and thriving communities,” says Keith Hambly, Fred Victor’s CEO.

Today, over 200 families, many of whom live in poverty, grow their own nutritious food through these gardens. But the food itself isn’t the only benefit of the gardening program. At Fred Victor, gardening isn’t just about growing food―it’s about growing community, too.

“What we grow reflects our community’s vibrant cultural diversity. In our gardens, kiwi and amaranth grow alongside strawberries, carrots, and garlic, which grow alongside Indigenous healing and ceremonial plants such as tobacco and sage,” says Mark Woodnutt, Fred Victor’s Senior Manager, Community Food Centre.

Gardening and nutritional education, healthy food choices, and strong relationships are cornerstones of the gardening initiative. And there are plans to expand. “We’re looking to expand the program over the next year, turning plots at one of our locations into a micro-farm that will supply fresh ingredients to the meals served out of our community hub,” Woodnutt explains.

Your gifts through Mission & Service not only help feed families but also support building healthy communities through organizations like Fred Victor. Thank you for helping your neighbours across our country flourish."

Credit: Melanie Gordon Photography


Based on an ancient story about hunger and sharing, this simple yet moving, animated video is from Calitas Internationalis' (a Catholic Relief organization) 'One Human Family, Food For All' campaign. The allegory of 'the long spoons' teaches us that when we struggle to feed ourselves, everyone goes hungry. But when we focus on our neighbour's hunger, we discover there are ways to feed everyone.



Conspire with us
to create a world where all have access to nutritious and sustainable food sources,
and none live with scarcity or food insecurity.

Save us from oppressive and unjust systems.
Mobilize us to be a part of a world response
that works in partnership with those of good will
to foster equitable resource sharing.

Cultivate our resilience and expand our imaginations,
so that we might continually find new ways
to answer the call to end hunger—
until all may flourish.


—A prayer for World Food Day by Alydia Smith


Karen Murray-Hopf

Communications & Media Coordinator