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Fiesta Farms and The Stop: 10 Years of Local Helping Local

At The Stop, we’re passionate about growing connections between our neighbours and our food system.

Whether it’s offering the opportunity for food and friendships at our Drop-in meals, or bringing people together around our community gardens and kitchens, we believe that nurturing relationships is a big part of building a sustainable, equitable, and healthy local food economy.

Fiesta Farms, Toronto’s largest independently owned grocery store and garden centre, knows this work firsthand. They pride themselves on developing relationships with a range of folks for whom food matters on personal, political, and cultural level, and they stock their stores with products that reflect this.

As their own food philosophy goes, “We help people celebrate the reasons food matters to them by making organic, local, ethical, ethnic, healthy, gourmet, artisan and traditional fare accessible.”

Fiesta Farms is an anchor in this part of Toronto. It’s a family business, and we at The Stop have always felt like part of the family.  This city is changing quickly, and as it does, we are so enormously grateful to Fiesta for the endless support, and the deep held commitment and leadership they show to building a healthier Toronto — Rachel Gray, The Stop

Our relationship goes all the way back to 2009, when Fiesta Farms sponsored our very first Big Night at the Green Barn event. This fundraiser is close to both our hearts, as it celebrates the rich history of the Italian community and backyard growing in Toronto. Thanks in part to Fiesta Farm’s generosity, Big Night has now raised over $1.2 million in support of The Stop’s work.

It’s not just Big NightFiesta Farms is the only business that sponsors all three of our annual fundraising events. Have you ever been to The Stop’s Night Market? Many of its participating chefs use food provided by Fiesta Farms to prepare their delicious dishes.

Stop into Fiesta Farms on any given day, and you’ll see a lot of signs of their support. They accept in-kind donations from shoppers, resulting in 120+ pounds of wholesome Fiesta food in our meal programs every month. They also sell our custom coffee blend (made by Propeller) and Stop-branded tea towels.

Last but not least, every year Fiesta Farms’ owner Joe Virgona makes a personal donation to support our Christmas drop-in lunch.

Since we first came to understand the Stop’s model, we’ve seen a kindred spirit. Connecting, supporting, and empowering people through food should be on everyone’s agenda. The Stop’s model is a home-grown idea that’s spreading for a reason. – Joe Virgona

Thank you to Fiesta Farms for your decade of support! Here’s to 10 more years of local, accessible, and delicious food.

If you’d like to join Fiesta in supporting good food in your local community, make a donation to The Stop today.

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