With your support of this wonderful tradition, you will be helping to ensure that mental health patients most in need including those living with chronic mental illness, accessing social assistance and some with children will receive the generous gift of being able to purchase food all throughout the year.

The idea for the Grocery Gift Card Fund began in 2015 when a former patient generously donated to Dr. Dennis Kussin through Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation’s Honour Your Hero program. Catherine Vernon, Community Mental Health’s administrative assistant, had just the right idea on how to use the gift: It would be used to purchase $50 grocery gift cards that would be distributed to underprivileged patients most in need. Not only would it allow patients access to fresh food, it would help normalize the task of grocery shopping for those who often rely on food banks.

Since its inception, the fund has distributed over 400 grocery gift cards. This fund has helped many patients in Toronto Western Hospital’s Community Mental Health Program put food on the table during the holidays. The program is now open 365 days a year, so patients can receive this well-needed gift throughout the year.


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