The Red Apron Community Fund
This year The Red Apron Community Fund will be used to provide financial support to an Indigenous Student interested in studying Culinary Arts or Farming in Ottawa, specifically through programs hosted by Algonquin College or Just Food. Each year, we’ll look at needs within the community and work with our partners to keep our local food economy strong!
Parkdale Food Centre
The Parkdale Food Centre is an organization that we have had an ongoing relationship with for many years. They believe that everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious food and focuses on providing fresh, local, wholesome foods to our neighbours in need. During the 2020/2021 Pandemic the Red Apron partnered with Parkdale and their #cookingforacauseottawa initiative and throughout the pandemic the Red Apron donated more than 10,000 meals with a value exceeding $100,000.00. These meals were distributed to various organizations throughout the city including Shelters, Shut-in Seniors, Community Cupboards, Community Health Centres, and more.
The gift that continues to give. In our business we meet a lot of people who are struggling with illness and loss. Food is comfort, and when a family is in crisis, people give food. In 2008 a very large gift of Red Apron store credit was made to a gentleman who had lost his wife to cancer. Because he did not feel he would be able to use all of this gift himself, he paid it forward to a family in his community who was struggling with their own battle with cancer.
In 2009 the Jude family’s eldest son, Bryce, was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of leukemia. Throughout their battle, the family routinely stocked up on food at the Red Apron using the store credit that had been gifted to them and often bringing food to other families at CHEO. After a 3-year battle and at the tender age of 7, Bryce Jude earned his wings in September of 2012. During their struggle, we got to know the Jude family and their circle of friends and supporters, and worked with them to provide Christmas Dinners to the Oncology ward at CHEO, and assisted Dev as she purchased food for other families dealing with their own battles. But we wanted to do more. Their family’s extreme compassion, generosity and courage has inspired the Red Apron to partner with the Candlelighters’ to create Red Apron Candlelight Dinners with the goal of providing healthy, nutritious and convenient foods to every family in the region facing their own battle with childhood cancer. We dedicate this program to the memory of Bryce Jude. Candlelighters was established in 1988 as part a network of local and parent support groups. Candlelighters is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that provides programs and services for young cancer patients being treated in Eastern Ontario and to those they depend on for strength and support. Through fundraising and an annual commitment of money, the Red Apron has created an account that is be used to provide food to the families identified to us by Candlelighter’s. To date we have have provided these families with over $25,000 in meals.