Info, resources, advocacy. THANKS for your support!

the Bulletin (Food) Issue 8 / 605

1. Food (security) and mental health is complicated

We are constantly bombarded with ads, advice, and warnings on how much and what to eat. And it all costs too much time and money. For folks with disabilities, our diets can help or hinder our day-to-day and long term health. Get eating. Lots more at red apple with teeth is smiling next to a smaller wooly mamoth

 Advocacy For Food, Nutrition, and Dignity

· Dignity in Food systems (shelters, food banks, food programs)
· Right to Food—Internationally and in Canada
· Better Harm Reduction Tools include Harm Reduction Diets and Food Tips
· Income and Other Supports for Nutrition
· Shelter standards for food, diet and nutrition==> Booklet for food access and advocacy – still adding resources!

Navigate Below:

  1. Food is complicated
  2. Moments in C/S Bulletin History
  3. Rights to Food
  4. Resources and Sources, Harm Reduction and Food
  5. Jobs
  6. Free Events
  7. Dignity and food and recovery – Quick Food BOOKLET
PhotoPeppers and a zucchini are plunging into water and splashing wildly.


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We will be updating the website in the next week to increase the flow of information. Let us know about your events and important issues please at

DOWNLOAD the Food Issue Print .PDF version
Download Events Guide – Word File – Prepared by Amber Graydon, RT

Fill out the General Info Survey at the Bulletin Website

Survey: Food Access, Advocacy and FunWe would love to hear from you to focus the future of the Bulletin: Email:
You can add your events at: Add events //
2. Moments in C/S  Bulletin History – Special Diet Allowance
  • Special Diet Allowance in 2005=$250.00
  • Special Diet Allowance in 2018=$250.00 …still

C/S Bulletin 297, April 1st , 2005:

 …We are asking doctors/nurses/dieticians/midwives to recognize that the money from the Special Diet Allowance is a medical necessity for all social assistance recipients…

NOW: 2018…Special Diet Max is still $250.00

There are lots of conditions that qualify (diabetes, obesity, low weight) Conditions list: //
Find $ amounts: //

Application Method:

1. Take the application form to an approved health care professional.
One of the following health care professionals must complete and sign the form. They must also initial beside every condition that requires a special diet.
· a physician
· a registered nurse in the Extended Class (Nurse Practitioner)
· a registered dietitian
· a registered midwife or a traditional Aboriginal midwife (but only for medical conditions related to difficulties with breast-feeding).

2. Complete Section 1 of the form.
Please print clearly when filling out this part of the form.
3. Sign the form.
The person applying for the allowance, or someone authorized to sign on their behalf (for example a trustee), must sign Section 4. If the application form is for a child under 16, Section 4 must be signed by someone authorized to sign on behalf of the child (for example, the child’s parent or guardian).
4. Return the form.
When you have completed the application form, return it to your local Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program office.

…we still need activism to increase Special Diet  … Survivor history continues…

3. Rights, Advocacy

Shelter advocacy and Standards

  • Toronto sets standards for food.
  • You can help advocate for better food and more funding.

Right to Food

We need food to live. We have a right to live. Therefore, we have a right to food…mostly. The right to food is important for us because so many people with disabilities face barriers to accessing healthy food. Keep Calm Put Food in the BudgetThat is why a coalition of groups has advocated for decades to Put Food in the Budget (Ontario).
Internationally, UN ESCR: Right to Food: Adequacy, Availability, Accessibility, Sustainability (Canada is obligated under international law to provide adequate, available, accessible, sustainable food. (More at // Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights).

Website: //

Also learn lots from Food Secure Canada!
Food Secure Canada Logo

4. Resources

Get good Food

Harm Reduction and Food

  • Drink water!  Keeping hydrated increases, the size of veins so that you are more likely to get a successful hit.
Vein Person waving happily.

Nutrition while using

  • From CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange ) ==> People who use street drugs usually don’t get enough nutrition (macronutrients or micronutrients).  Eating better may help you stay healthier while you are using.
  • Get the basics while actively using
    • Drink high-calorie fluids
    • Take a daily multivitamin-mineral
    • Eat as well as you can when you’re notfhigh
    • Find out about food programs
    • Get groceries that last a long time before spending money on drugs.

Handle Stress with Food

· Embrace the principle of moderation – some “comfort foods” may not be considered “healthy” but can be helpful in the moment
· Be mindful of your body! Pay attention to what makes your body feel good (long-term) and what makes your body feel bad.
· Some key nutrients and foods that can help manage stress and anxiety:
Food Skills, CRC | Regent Park Community Food Centre,

Reduce Food Waste and save money and the planet

Reduce Food Waste Cost$

  1. Plan your meals. It reduces waste, and makes a for a fun household activity.
  2. Buy only what you need.
  3. Best before dates are required for manufacturing, but A sniff, a taste, or cutting off a bad part can keep good food from going to waste.
  4. Throw out the cook book, not the leftovers!
  5. Get spices, flavours and experiment.
  6. Blend it. Smoothies, sauces and soups can save all kinds of edgy veggies and fruits.
  7. Leftovers are pre-prepped ingredients. Leftovers are already cooked—making you that much closer to a new meal. With flash in the pan and some sauce or spice, last night’s discards become today’s delight.

Food Systems Lab: Closing the loop on food waste in Toronto
// ]

 Great Veggie Stock Recipe

Use up all the scraps!

Metabolic Syndrome & Diabetes

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome because they affect our community disproportionally (// and they may be caused by some of the medications that we take (// If you want more information about your medications and weight changes, you could talk to the prescribing doctor and if you want more information you could ask for a referral to a dietician or other supports. You may also want to apply for the Special Diet allowance.
MORE information

Get Dental Health and Care

Do you take the time for dental care? Brushing twice a day…flossing…going to the dentist?

The Stop: Emotional Wellness Peer Support

…We seek to be the link that brings together consumer survivors who encounter food scarcity. …”

TTC – Fair Pass Discount Program

The Fare Pass Presto card saves money: $2.00 per ride, 115.50 month. If you receive a transport allowance from OW or ODSP check with a worker before you apply for the pass so that you don’t have that subsidy cut from your cheque.

Find the forms and the details at: //

TTC Fair Pass Discount

5. Jobs & Funding

Consumer Survivor Run Businesses:

  1. Cleaner – Fresh Start Cleaners
  2. Order Coordinator, Dishwasher – Raging Spoon – Raging Spoon is part of Working for Change – APPLY ASAP

Peer Jobs

    Harm Reduction Coordinator 
  3. John Howard Society of Toronto – Reintegration Centre Peer Worker

Police Record Resource

6. Fun Free Events

General Tips on finding events:

  • We know there are lots of folks collecting events for Survivors so we don’t want to duplicate their efforts. If you do have a consumer survivor event, please submit it. If we don’t receive your event we probably won’t include it.   Sources of events:
    • Toronto Public Library
    • Now Magazine, Torontoist ( BlogTo (
    • Facebook

City of Toronto Event Listings—Lots of good stuff

You can sort by day, type, free, and location!

Toronto Public Library

Big events with huge authors and speakers at the Reference Library (789 Yonge Street //

The Library has a great Accessibility program. Learn More

Highlights of events


September 4, 2018 Mental Health Peer Meeting on Madness and Sexuality
6:00-8:00pm the 519 Please RSVP: Accessible space..

September 16, 2018 AIDS Walk TorontoEvent Time(s): 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St West :

September 22, 2018 Disability Pride March on September 22, 2018 Starting at Queens Park (111 Wellesley Street West) and marching to the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson (99 Gerrard Street East) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PMSeptember 22nd, 2018 Good Food For All Festival 

Community March: 11:30am—12pm, Festival: 12pm—3pm  Where: 1900 Davenport Rd, in front of Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre // //
September  29   2018    (Saturday) Native Child and Family Services of Toronto 21st Annual Community Pow Wow

At: 2 blocks south of Bloor St W on Dufferin St Dufferin Grove Park     Time: 6am – 5pm Phone: (416) 969-8510 ext.3472

Street Soccer Toronto

We will be playing at Earlscourt Park St. Clair and Landsdowne Avenue behind the Joe Picinnini Community Centre by the running track on Saturdays.Street Soccer Toronto
 ALL welcome you can come as an individual or a team. No expertise or fancy shoes required! Totally free. Find more information about the league on Facebook.  You can also find highlights from the Homeless World Cup.

Lots more newsletters

  • · Ontario Peer Development Initiative OPDI “News to go” //
  • · Empowerment Council //
  • · Citizens With Disability Ontario (CWDO) //
  • · Housing Action Now—Great resource on housing advocacy in Toronto //
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) Newsletter)
  • · ARCH Alert, ARCH Disability Law Centre  //
  • · Voice of Our Own, Newsletter of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), published four times per year //
  • · AODA Alliance – subscribe to e-news by emailing
  • · The Advocate – A Government Affairs Advisory Newsletter, Ontario March of Dimes //

Looking for Resources in the Regent Park and Moss Park area?

Check out the resource booklet prepared byCover of Community Resource Booklet June 2018 by Regent Park Community Health Centre Regent Park Community Health Centre. The booklet is meant to be printed and shared. Consider printing out a copy or two and sharing with friends. Could your area use one of these?

7. BOOKLET Special Bulletin Part 1! Food  Access, Advocacy, Fun

We are building up resources for the food and mental health booklet. We want to include your project and ideas in future versions.Link to the Food and Mental Healthy Booklet

Here is the link the the Booklet which has quick references and resources. You can print and share it!

SO: Please email us at
You can contribute to the planning through this FOOD Survey.

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The Bulletin is published on the 1st of every month
by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been provided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

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The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the
Toronto Central LHIN, the Government of Ontario,
Sound Times Support Services Staff or Board Members.
Thanks: to survey participants, callers and emailers and the C/S Info Bulletin Team helping with the handoff.
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Food Access, Advocacy, Fun

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