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The organizer: Adam Zivo

The project: Creating LifeCrates

The reason: To deliver food to low-income seniors

Adam Zivo, seen here on May, 19, 2020 in Toronto, charges $75 for each basket, but is reconsidering the fee and may drop it altogether.Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

When Adam Zivo’s mother returned to Canada from an overseas trip in March, she went into self-isolation and had to rely on family and friends to deliver food.

His mother’s plight made Mr. Zivo, 28, reflect on how less fortunate people cope with self-isolation. “I realized that my family had the capacity to get things to her door,” he said from his home in Toronto. “And I thought there are all of these people who don’t have that available to them.”

That led to the creation of LifeCrates, a non-profit service that delivers food to low-income seniors around Toronto. The organization has teamed up with several community groups that provide the names of those in need. It also works with retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers to get food at the lowest cost possible. Each crate contains enough food to last for a month and LifeCrates has two dietitians who ensure that everything is nutritious.

LifeCrates started out charging $75 for each basket, which covers just less than half the cost. The rest comes from donations. Mr. Zivo said the group is reconsidering the fee and may drop it altogether.

Although it’s a relatively small operation, with just 10 core volunteers, LifeCrates has been able to make deliveries to 500 people. Mr. Zivo, who has a background in social entrepreneurship, hopes to continue the service for the duration of the pandemic and then turn it into a sustainable venture.

“There are always going to be food-insecure people,” he said. For now, the help the group has been providing has been heartwarming, he added, with some recipients in tears when the delivery arrives. “Seeing the impact that we have is incredible,” he said. “You realize the need for aid like this.”