TORONTO — The eighth annual Grow for The Stop fundraising event has raised $65,000 in support of The Stop Community Food Centre, Regent Park Community Food Centres and food banks in the south Georgian Bay area in Ontario.
The event hosted more than 900 supporters and a surprise musical guest, The Tragically Hip, at The New Farm in Creemore, Ont. on July 18.
Funds raised will be used to purchase local, organic produce from Ontario farms to aid in the mission of making good food accessible to all. “Our partnership with The New Farm does a couple of really important things,” explained Rachel Gray, executive director of The Stop. “Grow for The Stop means that we get fabulous, local, organic produce for our community meals and food bank hampers. It also means we are able to support local, sustainable farming practices. It’s an important disruption of the traditional charity model, which often gives away bad food. We are really committed to getting the best food possible into the hands of people who are most food insecure and we love putting our purchasing power in the right places, like with The New Farm.”
Fifteen renowned local chefs cooked at the event, showcasing local and organic ingredients. Participating restaurants included Momofuku Daisho, Cafe Boulud, Dbar, The Drake, Harvest Kitchen, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, The Chase, Enoteca Ascari, Azzura Trattoria, Matt Flett, Vertical, The Stop, The Royal York and The Pottery Restaurant.
“It was amazing,” said Gillian Flies, co-owner of The New Farm. “We’re thrilled to surpass our fundraising goal and are so proud, grateful and honoured by the support shown from all over Ontario for what started as a humble event. The Grow for The Stop initiative has grown, and we have exciting plans for the future to continue our good work.”