Ontario Trillium Foundation: Support Through the Years

As we enter into the third year of the pandemic, many are reflecting on the changes it has brought about. We have all had to adjust our day-to-day, and that is no different for us at the Ottawa Food Bank. Our vision is healthy, accessible, sustainable food for all. We continually learn and adapt in order to ensure people across Ottawa have access to the food they need to live healthy, more fulsome lives.    

Adapting to these changes to get food to those who need it most would not be possible without the generosity of our community. It is through working in partnership with our retail partners, community members, and local businesses that we are able to achieve our vision. Funding from grantors also goes a long way to execute plans that enable food to be distributed to over 100 food programs across the city. 

Recently, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has been a generous funder of the Ottawa Food Bank for several innovative projects. We are so appreciative of their continued support for projects that inform how we do our work.  

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has helped us support over 44,000 people every month through these difficult times.

Neighbourhood Mapping Study
In 2019, the Ottawa Food Bank received funding for a neighbourhood mapping study. This project, in partnership with the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study team, looked at factors such as food costs and availability across the city. Understanding the relationships, linkages and barriers of each Ottawa neighbourhood allowed us to focus on improving the distribution equity of fresh, healthy food in Ottawa. This means that no matter where someone lives in the city, their food needs can be met.
Best Practices Framework
In 2020, we were thrilled to receive funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to develop a best practices framework with the food banks in our network. This work involved food banks, community stakeholders, and those with lived experience. First, food banks were surveyed to explore their capacity and resources. We then worked together to come up with standards for how we work in the community to increase access to food. An example of this is working toward a choice model, so that those who use food banks are able to select the food they will receive.
Home Delivery and Food Distribution Program
At the onset of the pandemic, it was clear that a new food distribution program would need to be developed. Calls for support increased, and many were unable to leave their homes for various reasons – whether it be having to isolate or feeling it would be unsafe to make trips into their community. With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ottawa Food Bank launched the home delivery program. Funding through 2020-21 helped us equip a truck for home delivery with refrigeration to deliver fresh and nutritious food to the community. We also set up a designated space for hamper assembly in the warehouse. Our skilled intake worker helped to arrange deliveries, carried out by our 15 incredible home delivery volunteers. Ontario Trillium Foundation also helped to buffer the rising costs of food, and ultimately helped us increase access to food for those most vulnerable in our city. Their support meant we were able to make an average of over 300 deliveries per month from December 2020 - December 2021.

These projects supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation allow us to ensure that we can provide continuous care while serving the community in the best way possible. Their partnership helps us continue to make evidence-based decisions, so we can work as effectively as possible. The foundation we’ve built with their support strengthens our network, allowing us to continue creating thoughtful programs that get food to those who need it most in Ottawa.  


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