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March 25 Bulletin

25 Mar 2020 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Non Essential Businesses must Close

There is naturally some confusion as to which businesses are deemed essential and which ones are not. The complete official list is available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces.

Spring is Happening Regardless

Snowdrops, crocuses and scilla are in bloom throughout the Annex. Tulips, daffodils, and irises are forging ahead. The robins are here. And some residents have been able to get into their gardens to start the seasonal cleanup.

These signs of Spring are so welcome at a time when we’re forced to walk separately, not allowed to congregate on our sidewalks or in are parks, keeping our distance firmly from each other.

But there is much we can do to help those who are quarantined or unable to get out without assistance or forced to work long hours keeping essential services going.  Reports in from this week:

The Avenue Road Food Bank at Church of The Messiah

The Rev’d Tay Moss writes that the food bank at Church of The Messiah (Corner of Avenue Road and Dupont) has switched service models and is now pre-packaging food "hampers" which people can either come to the church to pick up on Wednesday afternoons OR can be delivered to those who need to stay home  for any reason.

Most of the guests at the food bank are the “working poor” who often work in service industry jobs for cash. They rely on the food bank to get through hard weeks, and there is fear that many will be laid off or otherwise experience financial distress during this crisis. Many other food programs have had to close, which is also driving up visits to the church’s food bank.

The food bank doesn't do any means testing and registering is a simple matter of getting a name and family size so it can track how many people the service meets.

How you can help

Operating in this new service model has meant unanticipated expenses for the church. There are many ways you can help to get aid to where it’s needed:

  • Inform: If there are people in the neighborhood who need food assistance, just inform Rev’d Tay at the Food Bank by email and he’ll coordinate delivering a weekly food hamper:  taymoss@churchofthemessiah.ca
  • Donate Money:  Money is always helpful. You can easily donate online using the Canada Helps website at this address: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/118863141RR0001-church-of-the-messiah/. In the message line of the donation form, just note that the money is for the Food Bank. Canada Helps will issue tax receipts for all donations.

Alternatively, you can contact Rev’d Tay directly and he can facilitate other means of giving such as checks: taymoss@churchofthemessiah.ca or 416.922.4371.

  • Volunteer: Help is also needed, especially people willing to use their cars to fetch donations or deliver hampers. You may contact the Volunteer Coordinator at elliott@churchofthemessiah.ca to find out how you can contribute your time to these efforts.
  • Donate Food: Food is, of course, always welcome. The food bank is in particular need of protein sources like meat, fish, and peanut butter. Shelf-stable items are preferable, but the food bank also has sufficient freezer and fridge space to accept and distribute fresh items as well.
The best time to deliver at the church is either Monday mornings or Wednesdays before 3 p.m. Other times can be arranged by appointment. Please let them know when you are coming so that the volunteers are expecting you.

Grassroots Initiatives

Not all outreach has to be on such a grand scale to make a difference. Reva Landau at 95 Prince Arthur notes that five people in her condominium building have volunteered to help residents who may not be able to get out for groceries, etc. during the Covid-19 time.  The names and telephone numbers of the volunteers are posted in the Mail Room.

And our ARA chair, Rita Bilerman, has a great idea to support high school students languishing at home with their enforced absence from school. A lot of them need to accumulate volunteer hours. That makes them the perfect workforce for helping out older people and those in isolation. Consequently, the ARA is willing to sign volunteer hour forms for any high school students willing to help out now. Contact us at aracares@theara.org for information.


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