Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Stop's vegan meals a critical daily lifeline for Torontonians with special dietary needs, and without grocery budgets

They're calling them "veggie" meals. But they're actually vegan. If you mean vegan, say vegan. So, if you can't eat dairy, or you shouldn't eat dairy, or you eat meat but not pork, or not beef, or whatever... this is your lifeline. This and the TVFB (the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank). And you can get it once a day, several days a week, at The Stop, on Davenport, a few blocks west of Dufferin. So you might not be able to get meat without also getting dairy, but you might be able to avoid hunger, without getting dairy. Or you might be able to avoid hunger, while being vegetarian.

So, their lunch is guaranteed to have a vegan option, every time. Their breakfast, not so much. More like sometimes. But they plan their meals out in advance, so notwithstanding a few changes here and there at the last minute, you can get an idea, from week to week, which breakfasts you can go to.

Replacing one out of four meals a day (what, you only need three meals a day? that's awesome) can yield a tremendous amount of savings that can go into hard-to-find items. Like nuts, fruits, spices etc. You know, the stuff that the free food scene omits. I mean, we get lots of nuts. As long as they're peanuts. As long as those peanuts are in peanut butter. As long as that peanut butter was the cheapest available. Which means it's also got icing sugar in it. Yay. People with cognitive issues love that stuff. Yeah. We fucking adore it. And, let's see, we get lots of fruit. In cheap canned form. So that's great. For their budget. Not so great for our bodies, or our brains. In fact, it's that kind of packaged food that's being eyed as one of the primary causes of many of the mental health issues that have pushed us all to actually read articles like this, almost to the end, or even worse, writing them. And coming back to edit them. And rewriting them. In between meeting up with friends to apologize to them about not looking for work. Because that's what friends are into. You're either talking about how shitty your job is, or you're talking about why you don't have a job. It's wonderful to not see job postings at food banks and stuff.

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