Please note: The information provided in this tipsheet is for reference only. It is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of organizations, agencies or private businesses, or as a comprehensive resource list.
Based on when you are viewing this tipsheet, the information may not be the most up to date. Please refer to the date this tipsheet was last updated, at the end of the document. You can also access this tipsheet online at hollandbloorview.ca/covid-19-tipsheets
This tipsheet provides a list of governmental and non-governmental emergency funds and supports for families, in situations where they may need help urgently to pay for or find basic necessities.
- Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) - Canada.ca:The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. The CWLB is only available when your region is selected for a COVID-19 lockdown order.
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer some questions here to help you understand what benefits you may be able to get.
- Social Assistance and COVID-19 Emergency Assistance - Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services: Learn how to get financial and employment assistance if you don’t have enough money for things like food and housing, or if you have a disability and are in financial need.
- City of Toronto’s Property Tax Appeal: For people who are unable to pay for their property taxes because of extreme poverty or sickness.
- Toronto Rent Bank: Provides grants to eligible Toronto residents who are behind on their rent or need help with a rental deposit.
Temporary Covid-19 Isolation Emergency Support Fund: The temporary COVID Isolation Emergency Support Fund (COVID IESF) has been established to assist individuals who due to a severe financial hardship are not able to access COVID testing and/or complete the required period of isolation. This one-time assistance is available through FCJ Refugee Centre, and is for individuals not eligible to receive any other financial support.
Note: Some agencies require that you pre-register or register at your first visit. Please call or e-mail ahead if possible.
- List of Drop-in Spaces and Drop-in Takeaway Meals: Updated by Toronto Drop In Networks
- The 519’s Free Takeaway Meals: offers clothing and essential supplies as well as food. Call 416-392-6874 during operating hours or email at Community@The519.org.
- The Stop’s Emergency Food Access Services: free takeaway meals. Please contact general line: 416-652-7867, or email email@example.com
- Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre: meal pick-up schedule here
- Daily Bread Food Bank: Register as a new client of the Daily Bread Food Bank network. You will then be able to access any food bank supported by Daily Bread using your Client ID. Register online or call 416-203-0050 ext. 1
- Food Banks and Community Food Programs - Toronto - Toronto Central HealthLine
- Feed It Forward’s Pay What You Can Grocery Store: Located at 3324 Dundas Street West, Toronto. Open every day from 11am to 6pm.
- FoodShare: Provides fresh affordable food for delivery, Call 416-363-6441 x 276 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- North York Harvest: Community food spaces and gardens in different locations.
- Moss Park Food Bag Delivery Program and Moss Market for affordable food.
General resources for food, shelter or clothing
- 211 Central - Resource database serving Toronto, Durham, Peel and York Regions - → enter ‘Location’ and ‘Food’ as a topic into the search fields
- Distress Centres of Greater Toronto: Emergency food services in the GTA and Toronto, as well as clothing, housing and emotional support services
- Chalmers: An online chatbot that can help you find food, shelter, or clothing that you can access in Toronto.
- Ontario government COVID-19: Learn what provincial, financial, mental health and other supports are available including social services, shelters, filing taxes, paying rent, food banks.
Community volunteer groups for food delivery/general assistance
- Good Neighbour Project: Volunteers who assist with delivering supplies and groceries to those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly, across the GTA.
- Red Cross - Toronto Region Mobile Food Bank:Food deliveries to persons not able to access a food bank due to a disability and/or other barriers
- Ontario Community Support Association provides expanded access to Meals-on-Wheels, the delivery of medication and other essential needs.
Additional funding supports
Funds that support students
- Toronto Foundation for Student Success’ Emergency Fund: Any principal, teacher, or professional support services staff member can apply for emergency funds up to a one-time only maximum of $500 per student.
- Angel Foundation for Learning’s Emergency Fund and Family Support Fund for Extreme Needs: Offers funding to Toronto Catholic District School Board students who need warm clothing, food, hearing aids, eyeglasses, epi-pens, and other necessities for life and for their education. Application for these funds must be initiated by the school principal or the school social worker.
Funds that support electricity and gas bills for your home
- Ontario Energy Board Low-income Energy Assistance Program: Low-income customers can get up to $500 in emergency assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically) and $500 for their natural gas bills. The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrears – and may face having your service disconnected.
- Toronto Hydro Low-income Energy Assistance Program(LEAP): LEAP is a grant program that helps those who are struggling to pay past due bills or have already received a disconnection notice. It offers a maximum grant of $500 per household per year ($600 for electrically heated homes).
Funds that support artists, entertainers and tip-based workers
- Music Together A living room concert series to pay Ontario artists in need.
- Theatre Direct’s Support for Artist Parents & Caregivers: Offers $250 grocery gift cards to artists caring for their families at home.
- Woodcock Fund Grant Emergency funds for writers mid-project.
- Unison Financial aid for musicians.
- The Actor’s Fund of Canada Emergency financial aid for entertainment pros.
- AFC’s Emergency Fund: Short-term emergency financial assistance for entertainment industry professionals working in TV and film, music, theatre, and dance for essential household bills and costs that cannot otherwise be paid.
- Glad Day’s Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers: For LGBTQ2S people who cannot pay for food, medicine, rent and necessities because most of their income does not come from an employer.
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: tips for managing finances during this time.
- Woodgreen: Now offering financial counselling virtually. Counsellors are available to speak with clients on a variety of low-income financial issues. Phone translation is available in many languages.
Originally created by the Family Support Specialists (Melissa Ngo, Lorraine Thomas and Meghan Toswell) at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital on April 6, 2020. Most recently updated January 24, 2022. If you have a question or a resource to share, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com We encourage you to visit our website to access all of our COVID-19 or Coronavirus specific family tip sheets. If you are looking for other family resources that have to do with childhood disability, please visit www.hollandbloorview.ca/resourcecentre.