City of Toronto Budget Deputations

2011 - City of Toronto Budget Deputations

Thank you for recognizing the importance of student nutrition programs to the health of our children and our city!!!

Thank you student nutrition supporters for your hard work in getting the message out and thank you to city councillors for listening!!

Faced with a 10% cut to Student Nutrition Programs across the City of Toronto amounting to $380,000 or funding to 59 programs, student nutrition program supporters made deputations, to the City’s Budget Committee on December 7th, 2011.

Afterward many councillors told their constituents that they heard the message loud and clear and that they would be voting against any proposed cuts to student nutrition programs. Thank you City Councillors for recognizing the importance of student nutrition programs to the health of our children and our City!!!

Moved by these deputations as well as the hundreds of emails, calls, letters, visits to councillor’s offices, many councillors said that they would be voting against any proposed cut to student nutrition programs.

Councillor Doug Ford stated: “Cuts to student nutrition program won’t happen”.

Other media confirmed that messages had been heard:

In addition to deputations and extensive media coverage, children and youth, teachers, principals and student nutrition supporters presented city councillors with written testimonials, letters and artwork at their offices on December 8, 2011. Presentations representing at least 60 school and community student nutrition programs varied from individual letters from coordinators and teachers to large stacks of personal notes, placemats and posters from children and youth who rely on student nutrition programs every school day, telling them what their program meant to them.

On July 28, as we headed to City Hall to make deputations to the Executive Committee with community partners, FoodShare issued a media release urging Mayor Ford and the Executive Committee to ensure that Toronto’s social safety net is not destroyed.

In it, executive director Debbie Field reminds that “our city infrastructure is not just made up of roads and physical structures. Over many years, the City of Toronto has pioneered community and social programs that support a human infrastructure, our social safety net. Today you are considering eliminating that social safety net, the very foundation that makes Toronto a leader and a great liveable city, a city that tourists want to visit and a city that companies want to do business in. I urge you to consider the great costs to our city if you dismantle this infrastructure. These costs will have compounding negative impacts that resonate for years to come. There’s a much bigger budget balancing process at stake here, one that will impact every single citizen of Toronto, and the entire city’s economic prospects for years to come.”

We heard from many of you immediately!

– Thank you for writing and delivering such a strong statement for the people of Toronto who benefit from such programs as yours and others that are in danger of being cut!
We must fight this.

– A WONDERFUL LETTER! Thank you so much for fighting for this, and all community program funding.

– I just want to applaud you for a message that is strong, clear, eloquent, and (let’s hope!) sure to be heard by all those who have their hearts and minds open to bigger picture analysis. Thank you for the inspiration!

– I just want to let you know that all day long the Good Food Box people have been coming in very upset about the proposed funding cuts to FoodShare and asking to be kept up to date on what’s happening. No one is talking about the long weekend; everyone is talking about FoodShare and City Hall.

Debbie’s number (122) came up finally at about 12:30am the following morning, July 29, and we were pleased that Mayor Ford engaged with Debbie directly, promising to come see our work in action! You can see the video here.>>

And following Debbie’s deputation, we heard again from so many, and the twitterverse went crazy. Here are just a few examples:

– Debbie Field from FoodShare brilliantly expresses why student nutrition and good food programs make Toronto the great city it is. Congratulations!

– Mayor Ford rare personal note to Debbie Field, mentions participation in Bendale football & says he’ll visit @FoodShareTO

– Debbie Field, Foodshare, “Mel Lastman knew 2 things: Not to cut Grants and not to cut kids food programs.”

– I <3 foodshare and debbie field. they’re feeding children bringing food security to toronto’s deserts.>

– debbie field from foodshare rocks c’tee rm 1 talking about student nutrition programs. ford responds about football. #tocouncil

– RT @perspecticus: RT @torontoist: Debbie Field, execdirector of FoodShare. “What you’re about to do is make the city vulnerable.”

– Debbie Field is a hero. At 12:25 am she is speaking to save Nutrition Programs. Rob Ford, use your listening ears.

– Food programs are one of the lowest cost ways to bring social harmony. This is a responsibility of the city -Debbie Field #topoli #tocouncil

– She’s good! RT @kristynwongtam: Debbie Field from Foodshare Toronto represents 390,000 people who rely on their services. #studentnutrition

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