Home Positivity Tenants set up food bank to help feed fellow tenants

Tenants set up food bank to help feed fellow tenants

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Tenant run feedback at 103-105 West Lodge Ave. Photo courtesy of: blogto.com/
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A group of dedicated tenants bringing some goodness into their community. They managed to convince one of Toronto’s major landlords to let them use an empty apartment free of charge so that they distribute food to those in need, many of whom are fellow residents in the large west-end complex.

West Lodge Food Bank, now runs out of one of the 200 vacant units of 103-105 West Lodge Ave.

The good news story all started when five volunteers distributed food to 100 families a month out of the lobby, until they had to move outdoors when COVID cases started to rise in December. The volunteers moved into warmer conditions when it was safe to do so, serving food out of a vacant apartment that had been accidentally left open during a renovation. Operations then transferred into another vacant unit when a neighbour moved out. But constantly changing locations is not an easy task, so the volunteers took matters into their own hands. They secured an agreement from their massive landlord, Hazelview, stating they can operate the food bank out of a building space rent-free. 

But the a high number of empty apartments are not a good thing. “Empty units negatively impact us as tenants in a lot of different ways,” she says. “One obvious way is just that our community members are gone and missing. Empty units mean people were evicted, pushed out, or had to leave because they couldn’t afford it.”

“We’re not just fighting for the food and masks,” says Hodgson about the West Lodge Food Bank. “We’re fighting for space. We’re fighting for respect. We’re fighting for rents to be affordable. It’s all connected, and this is just the beginning.”

Story sourced from: Blogto.com