Recipe for Community, a project that has helped make Scarbourough Village community more vital and beautiful was celebrated on Thursday by residents in the area, along with local Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest), Anne L. Brayley, Vice-President, Philanthropic Services from the Toronto Foundation and representatives of community organizations.
Recipe for Community projects are a partnership with the Toronto Foundation and the City of Toronto that work with public and private sector groups to invest in community development. Four key ingredients go into building a safe and healthy community: food, convening, youth engagement and neighbourhood beautification.
“The Recipe for Community project in Scarborough Village has made this community a healthier and more beautiful place to live, work and play,” said Councillor Crawford. “Thanks to all the partners and community members who made this program a reality.”
“This program reminds us of the power of philanthropy to spark great things in our city,” said Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO, Toronto Foundation. “Recipe was the vision of one generous fund holder who wanted to instill a sense of belonging and safety in her childhood neighborhood. Now, nine years later, we are celebrating the addition of a fourth Recipe community.”
Since 2007, the initiative has invested in four neighbourhoods: Alexandra Park, St. James Town and Weston-Mount Dennis, with Scarborough Village joining the list today. Rexdale was announced as the next community to be added to the list in 2016/2017.
The partners in the Recipe for Community project have invested more than $1.5 million in financial and in-kind resources to date. Partners include post-secondary institutions, banks, construction companies, community organizations and resident groups, telecommunications companies and gardening tools companies.
Investments are used to implement initiatives inspired and led by resident to beautify the neighborhood, refurbish basketball courts, train and provide job opportunities for youth and others in the community, provide cooking and nutrition programs, art projects and other neighborhood improvements.
The Scarborough Village project has showcased young people who have gained employment or accessed education programs through this project, a movie night, a revitalized garden space, bike repair and cooking programs as well as social enterprise programs. Additionally, graduates from the CPR and Food Handling programs were recognized.
The Recipe for Community program was inspired by a fund holder at the Toronto Foundation – holder of more than 400 endowment funds – who was eager to help the community in the wake of the Toronto’s Vital Signs® report, an annual snapshot of the quality of life in Toronto, which highlighted a low sense of belonging and safety as key issues in a number of neighborhoods. Other fund holders at the Toronto Foundation – whose purpose is community vitality – jumped on board with their financial support as well. – CINEWS