Councillor Josh Matlow

Community Spirit During COVID-19: Ways To Help

How To Protect Yourself:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Prevention measures include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface
  • Self-isolate at home when advised by public health officials

Call to Action: SPRINT Senior Care’s Meals on Wheels

SPRINT Senior Care’s Meals on Wheels (MOW) program is volunteer-based and delivers tasty, nutritious meals directly to seniors’ doors seven days a week, 365 days a year. MOW volunteers also perform security checks when delivering meals, to ensure seniors’ safety.

Volunteers are the foundation of many of SPRINT Senior Care’s services and we could not care for our seniors without support from over 300 volunteers annually. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we anticipate being in need of more volunteers to help us deliver Meals on Wheels.

If you are interesting in finding out more about how you can help, please contact our Volunteer Services and Human Resources Department at 416-481-0669, ext. 8723, or Visit us at to learn more about our services and programs.

Call to Action: Organizing To Assist Vulnerable Seniors in Toronto Community Housing

Due to the need to practice social distancing during these uncertain times, many seniors will undoubtedly face challenges with picking up essentials like medications, groceries and other items. These challenges are exacerbated by the new reality of having to wait in line for hours at some stores, which adversely affects some seniors more so than other segments of the population.

The team at UHN OpenLab, which is part of Toronto General Hospital, has been researching and designing solutions to support seniors to live independently in Toronto’s vertical communities. The team is in the midst of organizing a group of volunteers to provide assistance with simple pickups for seniors in designated Toronto Community Housing buildings. They need volunteers to staff the phone lines, communicate with seniors who need assistance, triage orders and provide deliveries. Ideal volunteers are those with cars, good communication skills and a keen interest in the wellbeing of seniors in the city.

To volunteer, please send an email to Tai Huynh at

Gormley Avenue Residents Set-Up Special COVID–19 Version of Neighbourhood Watch

Residents on Gormley Avenue, in Deer Park near Yonge and St. Clair, have started COVID-19 Neighbourhood Watch. Several neighbours have joined together to look out for seniors on their street who might fall ill and need assistance to perform daily tasks such as shopping for food, refilling medications and other household essentials. They are also planning to provide local and community information about the virus and how to act as the pandemic progresses.

This is a wonderful display of community spirit that I know we will see more of throughout our Midtown communities in the coming weeks.

We’re all in this together!

If You Require Assistance or Information 

My team and I remain actively working. However, our physical offices will be closed until further notice and my staff will be working remotely. In the interim, the best way to connect with us is by email at, rather than phone, and we’ll respond to you at our earliest opportunity.

Due to the high volume of correspondence we’re receiving, there may be a delay in our response, but we’ll certainly following up with you. We deeply appreciate your patience.

For any information related to COVID-19, please click here for the Toronto Public Health website to learn more and for important contact information.

The Stop’s COVID-19 Plan

We’re at a critical time for the containment of COVID19 (Coronavirus).

The Stop Community Food Centre will be shifting its resources away from community programming and towards emergency food access services starting Monday, March 16.

Our first and foremost priority is to protect the health and well-being of all Stop community members, staff, and volunteers.

We will continue to provide essential food access services to our community in an adjusted form:

 The Stop’s Food Bank will run Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 12pm-3pm.

 The Healthy Beginnings Food Bank will run Wednesdays, 12-1pm

 The Drop-in at 1884 Davenport will no longer serve seated meals. Instead, we will serve takeaway meals on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9am-10am for breakfast, 12pm-1pm for lunch

 The Stop’s Community Advocacy Office will no longer hold in-person office hours, but Community Advocates are able to provide information and referrals via phone. Monday-Friday 10am-2pm (416) 652-7867 x243

Please note: the following Stop programs and services are suspended until further notice:

 Healthy Beginnings (general program, Food Bank still open)
 Community Kitchens
 The Stop’s Wychwood Open Door
 Income Tax Clinic
 The Stop’s Urban Agriculture programming, including Youth Programs and the Mashkikii;aki’ing Medicine Wheel Garden
 The Stop’s Farmers’ Market

If you are in need of immediate food access and are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, or have come in contact with someone with symptoms, please do not visit The Stop. Instead, please ask a friend or family member to do so for you.

Questions? Please contact our general line: 416-652-7867, or email

If you would like to support our work, monetary donations are the most efficient way. They allow us to purchase the exact items we need on short notice. We also have purchasing relationships with farmers, stores, and suppliers, so we can buy items at a lower price than retail customers. You can make a donation here.

If you’d prefer to donate items, that’s great too! Currently, we’re seeking unused personal care products (like hand sanitizer, shampoo, menstrual products, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, etc) and clean takeout containers with lids. These can be dropped off at 1884 Davenport Road, Monday-Friday 9am-3pm.


Bernard Betel Centre Needs Volunteers:

Our community, along with the entire world, is gripped by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis is impacting us all. But those who will suffer the most—and face the greatest risks—are the most vulnerable among us. They need us now.

Working with our social service agency partners at the Bernard Betel Centre, we are looking for volunteers to drop off meals to seniors who are homebound as part of the kosher Meals on Wheels campaign. They are looking for volunteers on Monday, March 23. Please connect with our colleague Cheryl Besner or 416.225.2112 ext.127 if you are able to help.

For those making the decision to work remotely or socially isolate during this time, we understand and appreciate your decision. We look forward to welcoming you to an event or program at the Bernard Betel Centre in the coming months.



Concerned cyclists and Dave, The Biking Lawyer are mobilizing people on bikes in Toronto to offer volunteer delivery and support services where safe and medically acceptable to do so. We have over 150 cyclist volunteers in various areas across the city. If your organization would like to post in our group a call for cyclist support or directly email:, we can work to assist you.

We can also look at individual support options.

If you are able, have two good wheels, good health and a love for community support please join us!

We stand and ride with you all. Sending love and thank you for all you are doing for our communities.

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