North York Harvest Food Bank

December 13, 2010 16:28 ET

A Holiday Tradition: Children Sort Food at North York Harvest Food Bank

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2010) - In what's becoming an annual tradition, many families and classrooms in northern Toronto are spending part of the holidays sorting food for people facing hunger.

"This month, children, their parents and other volunteers join us in our warehouse to sort food for people in need," says Anette Chawla, the executive director of the North York Harvest Food Bank, which provides food assistance to 60 programs, including pre- and post-natal programs and women's shelters.

"Each year, we see families and teachers bring their children here," she says. "While providing valuable help in the warehouse, the children learn about how communities are tackling hunger and poverty."

North York Harvest, a not-for-profit organization, is in the middle of its winter food drive, the largest of the year. Last year, families and individuals in northern Toronto needed 160,000 hampers of food – nearly 1.5-million pounds – from the food bank. Children and youth make up nearly 40 per cent of those served by the charity's programs.

"It's as important as ever that we give," says Josh Colle, a councillor (Eglinton-Lawrence) who helped launch the food drive. "We want to make sure that we're taking care of families and babies."

The goals are 200,000 pounds of food and $200,000 before January 4, 2011. North York Harvest is asking Torontonians to donate food or cash by calling 416-635-7771 or visiting

The photo opportunity is on Sunday, December 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

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