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CivicAction Fights Social Isolation with Digital Dish

New campaign launched to connect people while staying home.

TORONTO (April 6, 2020) – People across the country are being urged to stay home and practice physical distancing, causing many to feel isolated, alone and disconnected. That’s why today CivicAction launched Digital Dish, a new campaign to get residents civically engaged and socially connecting while at home.

Maintaining social connection has become essential for Canadians during this time. According to Statistics Canada, the number of persons living alone in Canada has more than doubled over the last 35 years and research suggests that a chronic lack of social connection increases health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Research also suggests that people who feel more socially connected have lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Through Digital Dish, CivicAction will help people virtually link-up with friends, family or colleagues to share a meal or coffee/tea together and have a meaningful discussion on how we can all stay resilient and find support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now we’re being asked to keep our distance, but that doesn’t have to end our social connections,” said Tamara Balan, Interim CEO of CivicAction. “More than ever, we need new, virtual ways to come together, support each other and, in the ways we can, help those most vulnerable. Digital Dish is here to help make those connections.”

Digital Dish kicked off on April 2nd with a virtual Town Hall with Mayor of Toronto John Tory and CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network. Hundreds rising leaders from across the region joined in to hear an update from the Mayor on how the City is taking action during these unprecedented times and provide feedback on what supports rising leaders need today and as we look to economic recovery.

To host your own Digital Dish, simply sign up at and download the free, easy-to-follow toolkit with instructions on how to set-up their online chat and guiding questions for conversations. In addition, the toolkit includes ways to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts and offer support like donating to local food banks, donating blood, helping the elderly. We can all do our part.

“I am heartened to see people united by purpose come together to help those in need during this crisis. I believe by working together we will get through this and come out stronger, said Zabeen Hirji, Chair of CivicAction. “Digital Dish brings together GTHA residents to create connections and a sense of belonging, to unite through our shared humanity.”

To start organizing your Digital Dish gathering, visit and follow the hashtag #DigitalDish on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Special thanks to Digital Dish activation partner Uber Eats.

Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

About Digital Dish

Digital Dish is a campaign by CivicAction to get residents socially connecting while staying home. Through Digital Dish, participants virtually link-up with friends, family or colleagues to share a meal or coffee/tea, have a meaningful discussion and share what they discussed back with CivicAction. For more information, please visit

About CivicAction

Complex challenges need an all-hands-on deck approach, and collective impact is what CivicAction does best. A leading not-for-profit in Canada, we have nearly two decades of experience working to boost civic engagement and build better cities by creating and implementing effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond. To find out more visit or follow @CivicActionGTHA.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sarah Harris
VP, Partnerships and Engagement, CivicAction
C: 416-827-4542

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