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Wongs Food Donation

Wongs Association in Toronto helps out FYFB food bank

This past month, members of one local group connected with another neighbourhood group to help their shared community. 

The Wong Association of Ontario in Toronto's Chinatown paid a visit to the Fort York Food Bank (FYFB) to present a donation to the food charity during their public open house. 

For the Wong Association, it had been an extension of their desire to help for over 100 years. It’s part of the Association’s history. Over the last century, early Chinese immigrants coming to Toronto have been able to rely on the family association of like-named members to help them settle into their new country. Family associations such as the Wong Association were formed as a way to help new immigrants adjust to their new land. Known in Chinese as the Wong Kung Har Wun Sun, it was one of dozens of benevolent societies set up to help people survive the challenges of early immigration. They provided community and social support as well as credit and small loans. 

“Contributing to the Fort York Food Bank seemed the natural thing to do", said Caroline Wong, a member who heads up the foundation side of the Wong Association. “We wanted to help within our local area where we could make a difference. 

For more than a decade, the FYFB has been delivering a program of integrated services that includes feeding individuals and families in need. Because of its location, this includes many people in the local Chinese community. Among them many seniors says David Pilchuk, one of 

the board members of the FYFB. According to a study completed through the social services program at the University of Toronto one-third of the people serviced are Chinese speaking . 

"FYFB's  Food Program provides low-income individuals and families living in our community with a three-day supply of groceries. Fact is many low-income people struggle to receive adequate nourishment".  But more than that, the FYFB helps people get on track through counselling, training and advocacy to help people find jobs, safe housing and appropriate social/community programs.

The FYFB offers a grocery store approach in filling those who attend. "The grocery store approach is seen as a best practice as it empowers clients to make a decision based on their individual tastes", said David Pilchuk, one of the directors of the local food bank. “We are very grateful for this donation. It will go a long way to helping with our programs”.

• Rated top a 10 charity according to Charity Intelligence, an independent auditor, the Fort York Food Bank puts 94% of their donation back to services.  

• The average person who attend the food survives on a net amount of $4 to spend on daily food. 

• FYFB is a member agency of the Daily Bread Food Bank and their assigned service area covers the Westside of downtown Toronto, from Yonge to Dovercourt, Lake Ontario to Bloor. 

• Working with registered dieticians, FYFB's Food Program provides grocery baskets (hampers) that are consistent with the Canada Food Guide. The hampers consist of basic staples such as rice, pasta, beans, fresh produce and dairy.

• The Wong Association of Ontario (Wong Kung Har Wun Sun Association) traces its origins to one of the oldest Chinese family associations in Canada - Wong Kung Har Tong, established in 1912. 

• It was originally located in Toronto's first Chinatown, near present-day Bay and Dundas Streets.
• In 2011, the Wong Kung Har Wun Sun Association became the first Chinese-Canadian family association to receive a coat of arms from the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

• The Wong Association has contributed to such charities as The Toronto Children’s Breakfast Club, Sick Kids and Canada Blood Services. 

For media inquiries, contact Henry Wong, henry@vyoobrand.com,  (416) 596-1005 (ext. 231)

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Wong Association of Ontario present Devi Arasanayagam of the Fort York Food Bank with a donation cheque. 

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