Abi & Toyo’s Story

Abi, a mother of four and a social worker at a local women’s shelter, knows about tough decisions. Years ago, she was forced to pull her daughter Toyo, a promising young basketball player, off of the summer team she played on because it simply wouldn’t fit in their family’s already tight budget.

“It really came down to paying for food and rent, and paying for basketball, and as much as we wanted to support her being active and involved, we just couldn’t afford it,” Abi recalled.

This reality check inspired Abi and Toyo to start the Lady Ballers Camp (LBC), a free summer program that reaches out to young girls in marginalized communities and gives them a safe, active and positive place to spend their summer vacation.

“It really came down to paying for food and rent, and paying for basketball, and as much as we wanted to support her being active and involved, we just couldn’t afford it,” Abi recalled.

Shortly after starting the program, Abi recognized the need for food assistance and reached out to North York Harvest for support.

“In the past some kids would come without food, and it’s a very hard situation for them to be in,” she remembered.

This year, the camp was able to offer a free lunch program made up of North York Harvest’s food supply. We are working with our community programs to ensure that children are eating what they need to have a healthy lifestyle and reach their full potential.

“The fact that we can provide a uniform lunch for everyone makes for a healthier and a much more inclusive environment,” said Abi.

The Lady Ballers are just one of the many North York Harvest member agencies helping community members dealing with hunger.

Submitted by North York Harvest as a part of the 25 Years of Changing Lives Gallery.

Thank you to Hunger Action Month sponsor, Cargill Canada!