CaterToronto care packages tackle food insecurity with tenderness

CaterToronto’s latest community outreach endeavour reminds me of a common refrain heard at protests against police violence: “Who keeps us safe? We keep us safe.”

In the case of the food justice non-profit’s recent care packages, the question is instead “Who takes care of us?” But the crucial element remains the same: in times of need the community provides and protects more meaningfully than government agencies. 

Care is always integral to the work of Vanessa Ling Yu, director of caterToronto and her team. 

“With emergency food initiatives [throughout the pandemic], you see a lot of ‘let’s take all the mislabelled cans from Heinz and then redistribute them’ without any regard for whether people want canned beans or can read that can. Our work is really about meeting groups where they are,” Yu explains in a Zoom interview.