Project Engagement celebrates 10 years of helping Toronto families over the holidays

This article was originally posted at insidetoronto.com on December 19, 2014.

Hundreds of struggling families will receive a month’s worth of food this holiday season thanks to a local organization that’s celebrating 10 years of helping the needy.

Project Engagement held its annual food distribution day Friday at the Ellesmere Community Centre in Scarborough where hundreds of volunteers organized, sorted, packed and then delivered holiday hampers to 400 families.

“There is approximately one month’s worth of food and household necessities for each family, so for example, they’ll be getting fresh fruits and vegetables, some non-perishable canned items, pasta, rice,” Project Engagement spokesperson Nicole Lippa-Gasparro said.

“We ensure that everybody has enough food that they can create a holiday meal for themselves, so they may be getting a ham or turkey.”

The not-for-profit group was founded by Vincent Gasparro (managing director of The Green Tomorrow Fund) and Ward 37 Scarborough Centre Councillor Michael Thompson in 2004.

“It started off with only 40 families (being helped) the first year, but it has since grown,” Lippa-Gasparro said.

About 20,000 pounds of food was collected this year.

The hampers, Lippa-Gasparro said, also give families the chance to “put aside some money and direct it towards paying bills” so they don’t feel a squeeze during the holiday.

Lippa-Gasparro said Project Engagement is always looking for new volunteers and donors.

For more information visit www.projectengagement.org

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