London for All presented its Year 2 report at the City of London’s Community and Protective Services (CAPS) committee today, engaging individuals with lived/living experience of poverty to share the update. A total of 52 initiatives are complete with 60 in progress as the project enters year three.
“Including people with lived and living experience of poverty has been transformative. The expertise of these individuals adds strength and resilience to poverty reduction work. Their first-hand knowledge of systemic barriers is in invaluable in co-creating innovative solutions.”
As lead agency of London for All, our city’s roadmap to end poverty in a generation, United Way convenes the work of 60+ community partners and more than 160 volunteers to implement 112 recommendations that aim to create long-term solutions and systems change. A total of 38 people with lived/living experience are involved as key decision-makers, and 50% of Leadership Table participants self-identify with this description.
Completed recommendations in Year 2 include working with farmers to provide easy access to fresh food for people who need it most and expanding no-cost dental programs for Londoners living with low income.
London for All’s Food Security Table worked with key community partners to expand the Good Food Box program from just two host sites to 12. The project addresses two key London for All recommendations: to support existing campaigns that promote healthy, local food and to ensure that fresh, high quality food is available at convenient locations and hours to those who need it.
Over 350 Good Food Boxes are currently distributed in neighbourhoods across the city for just $10 from agencies like Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre. Every month, families get easy access to seasonal, delicious and nutritious vegetables and fruits, all sourced from local farmers and food distributors. The program is open to all Londoners and is lead by the Child and Youth Network.
In a bold move, Roxanne Riddell, Project Manager of London for All, requested that CAPS identify representatives from City Council to actively participate in creating an Indigenous poverty strategy. Riddell has been working on this recommendation with leaders of local Indigenous Service Agencies, the London District Chiefs Council and the Southern First Nations Secretariat.
The presentation closed with one additional announcement. On Tuesday, June 18, United Way will receive a $48,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to monitor and assess project outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of the project’s leadership and accountability structure.
“London for All is a wonderful initiative and I’m so thankful for the leadership of United Way Elgin Middlesex and its partners,” said Terence Kernaghan, MPP for London Centre. “So much progress has already been made and I’m very grateful for all the hard work being done by so many to help our friends and neighbours to be independent, financially stable, and resilient. The work being done on early learning is critical; as a former teacher, I know how important it is to give our kids the tools to reach their full potential.”