Aangen’s Heal Hunger Initiative mission is to be a part of a solution towards hunger and food security.
As a self-sustained organization Aangen’s goal is to help facilitate the same kind of independence to the people we serve and to the lives we touch. That might look like feeding a small under-served community in Toronto, or feeding an entire village in Africa.
Our passion and our drive are unconditionally committed to serving with love.
Parkdale Meal Program
A call for love, in the form of free warm meals, from the Parkdale Community Food Bank inspired Aangen. Aangen was called to action when the Parkdale Community Food Bank (PCFB) was seeking a way to serve their clients a warm meal while they waited to pick up groceries. A week after their first meeting with Operations Manager, Hazel Perkins, Aangen launched a free meal program in support of the PCFB.
Since August 25th, 2016 Aangen has prepared and served a vegetarian meal every Thursday outside of the Parkdale Community Food Bank. Their efforts have been positively received by the PCFB clients. In addition to the warm meals Aangen has brought together a community, “we hug and we share stories and for just a couple of hours these amazing people are reminded that they do belong and that we are one.” –Says Program Coordinator, Heather Maciel.
Aangen also provides hygiene products, clothing, shoes and other items that are requested by the clients at PCFB. Since the launch of this program the PCFB staff has reported an increase in visitors to the food bank, less tension and frustration amongst both staff and clients and overall happier people.
“Food is love!” says Aangen Chef, Toni Zambri. “It really is healing on so many levels.”
Biarienu ‘Come and Eat’ Food Program
Ebe, Nigeria is one of the most impoverished areas in West Africa. Missing even the barest of necessities for life, over 50% of this community are farmers who struggle to harvest enough food to feed their families. 300 children attend The Embodiments of Love Academy (TELA) and over 20% of students go to school without eating breakfast and without a packed lunch. Hunger is not only detrimental to their health it is limiting to their future. Reaching their full potential is deeply connected with having a full stomach and that is why we are proud to work with the community in Ebe to help alleviate hunger.
OUR CALL TO ACTION is to help build a kitchen and dining hall in Ebe, where meals can be prepared daily and where hunger can be healed in the form of a nourishing meal. To effectively influence change we need to build Love into the work that we do and let that be our guiding light. As such our work does not begin and end with this kitchen, our mission is in service and in empowering lives everywhere around the world.
Help us raise $30,000 to build a kitchen in Nigeria
Background Story: Inspiration for this Project
A child comes to you with a fever of 39 degrees and severe headache. What is the diagnosis?
The diagnosis is hunger. Yes, when a child hasn’t eaten for 24+hrs s/he gets a high fever and headache here (Ebe). This was explained to me by one of the teachers. After a bowl of food, the fever goes away!! I saw a couple of kids like this and was sure it was malaria or some other infectious disease but they got better almost instantly with food. The kids here are so stoic. Culturally it’s inappropriate to beg/ask for food even if you are hungry. In fact, even if you offer food, they frequently won’t take it! Being hungry is just an accepted state of being… so different from what I’m accustomed to in Canada. On a certain level I’m sure it’s good to learn not to feel compelled to satisfy every sensory craving… but on the other hand, I’m definitely looking into setting up a breakfast program here.
~ Dr. Shira Taylor on her experience teaching in Ebe, Nigeria at TELA.
Dr. Shira Taylor returned from her time in Ebe with fire in her heart. Her passion led her to Aangen where a beautiful partnership was born. Dr. Taylor spoke of the Christian Mystic who has been the source of inspiration and loving action not only in Ebe, Nigeria but around the world. Father Charles Ogada founded TELA, he initiated the ‘Liquid Love’ project to bring water to the people and he tirelessly works on improving the living conditions of the people in Nigeria. Father Charles Ogada has evoked profound change through his loving service and has drastically transformed Ebe into what is now known as ‘Joy Village.’
“… journey together into our inherent oneness. There is no greater wealth than this. The Kitchen will happen naturally. If it did not happen, still we have done our duty. Like the river, we should just flow. Those who are thirsty will naturally come and drink. If they don’t, we just flow anyway.”
~ Father Charles Ogada on the Come and Eat Food Program
Food security is a growing crisis across the globe. Food is an absolute human right and nobody should be denied access to nutritious food, regardless of their life situation or circumstance. Currently at Aangen we are collaborating with local shelters, agencies and urban farmers on a food program to benefit people facing food security.
Supporters: Parkdale, Sunkisser (local farmers)
Kickin’ It In The Kitchen
‘Kickin’ it in the Kitchen’ was inspired by the needs of the Horizons for Youth shelter. The Youth at Horizons are facing traumatizing and chaotic life situations and food is not their priority. Food is a necessity and even more so, it is a basic human right. However, during such a sensitive time youth experiencing homelessness cannot always access healthy meals. Through the ‘Kickin’ it in the Kitchen’ program Aangen wants to change the way food is perceived by our youth and equip them with skills that can be taken from the kitchen and applied to their lives.
We’ve introduced a hip and trendy series of cooking workshops where we teach the youth how to cook simple meals on a budget that do not lose their integrity in quality. In addition we are excited to extend the program to include training in Urban Farming where youth will learn how to grow and harvest food!
Monthly Guest Cook Tolga, Co-Owner of The Good Fork, located at 2432 Bloor St. W
Zachary and Ashley of Sunkisser, local Urban Farmers
- To empower youth through cooking, allowing them to grow in confidence and independence.
- To provide a safe and fun cooking environment.
- To inspire their creative side and nourish the need for socialization.
- To cultivate appreciate and gratitude for food and where food is grown.
- To see the youth engaged and happy.
McCormick Park Café & Market – Run by Aangen
Located in the heart of McCormick Park (66 Sheridan Ave) a stylishly converted shipping container operates as a café and mini market. The idea was spearheaded by City Councillor Ana Bailao and in 2014 Aangen was awarded the opportunity to run the café container and turn it into a sustainable project. All meals served out of the café are vegetarian and home-cooked by Aangen Chef and Café Supervisor Toni Zambri.
Social Responsibility: Aangen’s mission is to serve and we build love into all of our projects. When you visit the café you can also drop off donations of non-perishable food items, clothing and toiletries to help support Aangen’s outreach initiatives.
Join us for $5 Friday Dinners, local and organic coffee, sweets and much, much more! Click here to learn more about the McCormick Park Café and Market.
Hope for the Holidays
‘Hope for the Holidays’ was inspired by the innate desire to serve others and to give to those in need. It is a testament to not only the true meaning of Christmas, but also to the true meaning of humanity – to give, to love, and to lend a hand of hope when someone, anyone, is in need. Aangen started this program with the intentions of simply bringing a smile to the families and children who could use a little extra support. With your help we want to shine a light of hope for these families and individuals who have been faced with unfortunate life circumstances. They are not defined by their current life situations and through ‘Hope for the Holidays’ we want to renew their hope for a beautiful and brighter tomorrow. The families and individuals that benefit from this program are Aangen families in need or are referred to us through social workers, partnering agencies and/or shelters.
In December of 2015 through the Hope for the Holidays program we were able to deliver gifts to 13 families! Each gift was hand delivered before Christmas, it was our gift to see the smiling faces and feel such warmth and gratitude from the families.
If you, your family or organization would like to sponsor a family over the holidays or if you know of a family who can use the extra support please contact our Program Coordinator Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org | 416-569-5311.