Two Toronto neighbours teamed up to start a food project that would help Black families in need.
Antonia Lawrence and Emily Carson are the neighbours behind Toronto’s new Uplift Kitchen. The project evolved from the sharing of food in their community that COVID-19 inspired.
In the wake of protests against anti-Black racism, Lawrence and Carson decided to take their community food sharing to the next level. With their experience in food service and nonprofit work, they were well-prepared for their new project.
They started an Instagram page for the project in the beginning of June. Donations started coming in right away. People wanted to help them give “hot meals and groceries to Black-identifying people in need, as well as others impacted by systemic racism.”
To qualify for food provided by Uplift Kitchen, Black families and families impacted by racism simply need to ask.
Lawrence says that she is “not doing a background check” because “if you say you need it, you need it.” Carson adds that “it takes a lot of strength to ask for what we’re providing.”
I don’t care who you are. I’ll feed you all day long.Emily Carson
The pandemic meant that accessing food banks was more difficult because they were open for shorter windows of times and didn’t have many delivery options. Also, a lot of the food provided by food banks is not very nutritious.
On the other hand, Uplift Kitchen provides flexibility, delivery drivers, and healthy and curated homemade meals.
Uplift Kitchen has been acceding to specific requests so they can brighten the days of the people they help. They gave “mangoes and grits” to a woman who missed them because they’re harder to afford in Canada. They served “homemade mac and cheese” (plus salads for added nutritional value) after a mother said it was a favourite of her daughter, a picky eater, who was depressed because of the coronavirus.
Lawrence and Carson plan to expand Uplift Kitchen so it can serve more people. It currently serves around 30 people per week. They’re thankful for all the volunteers, helpers, and donors who have made Uplift Kitchen what it is so far:
It’s just such a testament to community in Toronto.Antonia Lawrence
Article source: The Star
Featured image source: The Star