TORONTO, ON–Fred Victor has received $50,000 in funding from Penny Appeal Canada to support its Women’s Bakery – a training program that prepares women for jobs in the food industry.

An increasing number of Toronto women are finding themselves in low-paying, temporary jobs. Unstable employment leads to more women experiencing homelessness, using shelters, and woman-led families in precarious housing.

With the economic impact of the pandemic, even more women will experience poverty and homelessness. The need for practical experience and transferable skills is vital for job security and stability.

Women who enroll in the Women’s Bakery are often facing multiple barriers to employment. These barriers include a lack of work experience, English as a second language, no affordable childcare options, housing instability, and mental health and other health challenges.

Funding support from Penny Appeal Canada will help Women’s Bakery participants to continue tackling these barriers through hands-on training, support and supervision. Penny Appeal Canada is a relief and development organization working in over 30 countries worldwide.

Penny Appeal Canada supports numerous local initiatives aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty at the community level. “We are committed to supporting communities in a way that serves them where they are and provides them with access to the resources they require,” said Mark Strong, Community Ambassador at Penny Appeal Canada. Mark and his #TeamOrange volunteers have been working diligently in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurray to provide 7,000 meals, access to winter apparel for 130 families, and winter accessories to 25,000 individuals as part of their Cold Days Warm Hearts winter program.

The Women’s Bakery offers a safe space for women to grow holistically – encouraging ambition and building confidence – as well as a professional environment where participants can gain “real world” experience.

The multi-faceted program also incorporates sector-specific training partnerships (e.g. with Culinary Arts Programs) and placement opportunities with established businesses to equip the students for success.

“The Women’s Bakery is truly inspirational because of the transformation we’ve seen in so many participants. It’s a model that works – and with the support of funders like Penny Appeal Canada, we can continue to help women overcome barriers, and ultimately, build a brighter future for themselves,” says Keith Hambly, Fred Victor CEO.

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