The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. We do it with the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, donors, and staff!
Our programs change lives. At The Stop, good nutritious food is a gateway to deeper connection. Most people walk through our door for a meal, but once here, find their lives changed through the empowerment and belonging that arises from extended engagement in our kitchens, gardens, or through the mutual support of peer advocacy.
Our community work is done with the mentality of “nothing about us without us”, meaning that we take direction from our service users. We survey their needs, supports, and public policy priorities to inform the strategic direction of the organization. Additionally, we believe that – while it is important to provide emergency food access and other services – these services do not truly address the long-term systemic barriers many people in our community face. Inadequate social assistance rates, working poverty, inflation, and marginalization all work against our neighbours. We aim to provide immediate services but also focus on the long-term impacts we can make in regard to public policy.
The Stop seemed like my little piece of heaven. I felt welcomed, cared for, and uplifted. I was inspired to work with my community. I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew that The Stop would be the place to start.
Ani, Healthy Beginnings program participant
The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality.
From our origins as one of Canada’s first food banks in the 1980’s, The Stop has blossomed into a thriving community hub where neighbours participate in a broad range of programs that provide healthy food, foster social connections, build food skills, and promote civic engagement.
We believe that nutritious, sustainable, and culturally appropriate food is a human right for all. Throughout our 40-year history, The Stop Community Food Centre has shown how the simple act of bringing people together around food can be a catalyst for change. We’ve seen how growing, cooking, and sharing good food can transform a person’s health, bolster a community’s sense of identity, and even deepen the connections we feel to each other on a global scale. We believe that when we connect this work to an understanding of how racism and oppression impact our ability to eat, grow, live, and thrive, we can reimagine a society that’s truly grounded in food and economic justice.
It’s more important than ever for us to look after each other — especially those who have always been the most at-risk in our community.
Monica, Community Chef
We believe that food access and security are basic human rights.
We strive to ensure that emergency food distribution is available to community members and that food access programs, nutrition support and other food-related activities are available in our community.
We recognize that problems of food access and security are often related to multiple issues requiring a holistic approach to service delivery. We strive to improve the quality of life for community members through advocacy work, providing information and referral to services, engaging in crisis intervention when necessary and enabling people to take control over their own circumstances whenever possible.
The development of mutual responsibility—ensuring that community members work together and depend on each other for inspiration and support—is important to us and our work.
We value working with others by linking activities, integrating programs and maximizing the use of all community resources.
We value a strong organization that is financially sound, has qualified and capable staff and volunteers, and provides leadership in the food access and food security sector.
In all of our work, we respect each other. We value the unique skills, strengths and experiences of each person and ensure that each person is given the opportunity to make informed choices.
We strive to remove all visible and invisible barriers to ensure that our services and programs are accessible.
If The Stop didn’t exist, there would be a big void in the community.
We have three locations. At 1884 Davenport Road, we provide frontline services to our community, including a drop-in meal program, healthy food bank, perinatal supports, peer advocacy, good food markets, and community kitchens.
Our Green Barn is located inside Wychwood Barns at 601 Christie Street. It’s a sustainable food production and education center that houses a state-of-the-art greenhouse, a sheltered garden, community bake oven, and compost demonstration center—along with our year-round Farmers’ Market.
The Stop’s Wychwood Open Door at 729 St. Clair West is our newest location. It’s a daytime drop-in centre that brings community members together around good food and enriching activities.
Our 2023 Impact
After one of our most challenging years yet, we are proud to present our 2023 Impact Report. Hear more about the issues facing our community, the programs that we run, and the impact that The Stop is having in our West Toronto neighbourhood.