Advocacy: Awareness to Action

Building Bridges between Awareness and Action on Social Issues

Following from our success with the Put Food In the Budget Campaign both at the provincial level and at the local level with our Do the Math Working Group, York Region Food Network acquired funding in 2011 to continue our advocacy work around issues of food insecurity and inadequate income from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Our primary objective over the past two years has been to advocate for the implementation of a $100 Healthy Food Supplement for all adults on social assistance in Ontario who receive less than they did pre-1995 and who have been left out of the provincial government’s poverty reduction strategy altogether. The result being increased food insecurity in York Region and across Ontario, increased reliance on over-burdened food banks, and the deterioration of hope and life chances for a completely impoverished group of people who continue in living in hunger, poor health, homelessness, hopelessness and despair.

As we worked in the past two years to create more awareness in York Region about the absolutely inadequate social assistance rates for individuals in this province, we realized that even when people and groups are aware, they often don’t necessarily know how to take action on the issues and build a movement for change. The objectives of our new funding and project titled ADVOCACY: AWARENESS TO ACTION was to identify and implement advocacy strategies that would equip individuals, groups and organizations with the skills/tools to advocate for not only the $100 Healthy Food Supplement, but also other social causes that would be on their radar.

Tools and Strategies for Implementation of the AAA project

  1. Advocacy Letter and Tool Writing Kit / Resources to assist people in making changes.
  2. YRFN website to host AAA section for all advocacy resources, events and opportunities.
  3. Petition for the Healthy Food Supplement – online PETITION for Put Food In the Budget to help us advocate
  4. Video and Facilitator’s Manual for use with the Video promoting eradication of poverty and building of healthy communities. Video entitled “Courage to Change My World.”

It’s Not Too Late to Change the World!

Advocacy: Awareness to Action Project

Introduction and Background

Early Advocacy Plan Development


Advocacy Tool Kit

Video Discussion or Facilitators’ Guide

Advocacy Exercises

Promotional Buttons and Flyers

Sample Flyers for Events, etc.

Package for Advocacy Team Members

Information Package for Teams

Package for MPP Visits

Letters Requesting Funds

Miscellaneous Advocacy Letters re: HFS

Letters to the Editor/Announcements in the Media


Municipal Endorsements

Endorsement by Emergency Food Providers


E-Advocacy Campaign – Petitions

GO Petition



Training for Advocates and Groups

Introduction to Training and Resources

Certificate for AAA Advocates


Presentations and Powerpoint

Presentation to CYF Forum

Presentation to CY and Families Summit

Presentation to YR Foodbank Directors

Slices for Social Justice

Presentation to York Region Community and Health Services

COMPASS Planning Tables in York Region – (Sample: Together for Maple)

Presentation to Ontario Municipal Social Services Association

Presentation to OSSTF

Poor no More Film Nights (3 presentations across York Region)

YRDSB Presentations

  • Presentation to Bayview Secondary School Health Sciences Class (gr.12) Poverty in our Own Backyard
  • Presentation to Huron Heights Civic Class (February or March) TBD

Presentation to OCCUPY Newmarket


Reports and Submissions

ISARC Social Audit in York Region April 20, 2010 and Resulting Report – Behind the Masks

York Region Endorsement and Submission Re: The YR ISARC Social Audit Report and Recommendations including the Implementation of the $100 Healthy Food Supplement (Letter of Endorsement pg 1 Letter of Endorsement pg 2)

York Region Council Submission to the Social Assistance Review Commissions

York Region Invitation Letter to the SAR Commissioners hold public consultation in York Region in 2012



Resources and Links

AAA Project Overview and Toolkit

Economy and Poverty

Equity and Income – The Growing Gap

The Canada We Want in 2020












Health Indicators and Links with Poverty

Hunger and Poverty In Ontario and Canada

Poverty in York Region

Municipalities and Poverty

Building Capacity and Organizing for Change

Social Determinants of Health

Media Articles and Op-Eds

SPNO Resources for PFIB

Other Links to Valuable Websites


Province Wide PFIB Campaigns and Strategies

Do the Math MPP Visits Report

Do the Math Budget Survey and Postcard Campaign

Take the Match Challenge or Food Bank Diet Challenge – April 2009 ongoing

Valentines for Dwight Duncan – Finance Minister – February 2011

Food Bank Awareness Campaign – Freedom 90 – June 2011 ongoing

Christmas Cards for Dalton Mc Guinty – December 2011


Advocacy with Provincial Ministers

PFIB Minister Visits and Reports 2011


Other Related and Interconnected Poverty Campaigns and Toolkits

ISARC Advocacy Tool Kit

Poverty Free Ontario

Poor No More Film Debuts

Advocacy Tool Kit for Making Ontario the Healthiest Province – Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (OCDPA)



PFIB Provincial Rally October 2010

 Presentation to Community and Health Services Committee January 2011


Assorted AAA Photos to be used in AAA Video

AAA Hosts Hunger Awareness Day June 2011


Poverty Free Ontario Presentation June 2011

Training AAA Advocates Summer/Fall 2011

AAA Letter Writing Clinics – Spring /Summer 2011

PFO Launch September 10, 2011 at IFTC Building in Newmarket

Take the Math Diet Challenge in YR – 2010

AAA Do the Math Planning Meetings – 2011

October 17, 2011 International Eradication of Poverty Day


Evaluative Summary and Next Steps

Evaluative Summary and Project Highlights

Future Power Point Presentations to be used with the AAA Video

Next Steps for the AAA Project 2012


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