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Regardless of how green your thumbs are or what kind of food you’re able to access: if you care about how we grow our food and the people who grow it, there are countless ways you can get involved!

Improving the global food system starts with citizens connecting into their local food systems.

By connecting with others over food – whether that’s growing it, purchasing it, or enjoying it – we create the momentum we need to make a difference.

Keep an eye on our calendar for community events and local food services in your region. If you have an event or organization you would like to promote in our calendar, email info@usc-canada.org with details.

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Campaigns (2)

USC Canada is a part of a larger movement to reset food systems. Check out our campaigns. 

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What is the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund?

Who is Lotta Hitschmanova?

Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova is USC Canada’s founder. She established the organization in 1945, as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada. Dr. Lotta dedicated the next 40 years of her life to USC’s mission and to making the world a “better, kinder place for all.”

What is the Lotta Legacy Fund?

To honour Dr. Lotta’s legacy and to allow her work to carry on into the future, a fund in her name was created – the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund. More and more caring Canadians generously make provisions in their will for a gift to USC Canada. Once received, these gifts are deposited in the Legacy Fund, where they are prudently managed and invested to generate income.

How is the money managed?

The Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund is carefully managed by the USC Foundation, which is governed by a Board of Directors directly appointed by and accountable to USC Canada. The USC Foundation's sole purpose is to ensure that USC Canada has the financial stability essential for supporting communities in partner countries for years to come.

How is the money spent?

The funds are invested in secure and ethical options which create modest interest. Each year, a sizable grant from the USC Foundation is made to USC Canada, so that its vital programs can be sustained for the long-term benefit of the farming families we work with around the world (take a look at our Annual Report for our recent financial information).

Don’t you have to be rich to do something like this?

Not at all. Simply make a list of what you own (property, investments, cash, etc) and then make a list of what you owe.  Most Canadians are surprised to see how much would be left over once the debts are paid.

I don’t have a lot of money – would this make any difference to USC?
A small amount of money can go a long way in a USC Canada program. Often the Canadian government provides matching fund, multiplying the impact of your gift.

What about my loved ones?

Loved ones always come first. A gift to USC Canada in your will provides your estate with an income tax receipt. Depending on your circumstances the receipt can offset taxes rather than take money away from your loved ones. Consult your lawyer on what’s best for you.

What is the proper wording for my will?

Here are two common types of gifts.

Residual gift

“I give to USC Foundation’s Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund currently located at 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario__________ ( % ) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to be used for its general charitable purposes.”

Specific gift

“I give to USC Foundation’s Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund currently located at 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario the sum of $__________ to be used in support of its general charitable purposes.”

What if I change my mind?

It’s easy to change a will which is one of the reasons giving through a will is such a popular way of giving. For simple changes, add a codicil which expresses your intentions (a separate piece of paper, witnessed by two people who will not benefit from the changes in the will).

If it’s so simple, why is it recommended to see a lawyer?

It’s for your own peace of mind. A lawyer can help with the proper wording a will so that your loved ones will not experience undue expense or confusion in settling your estate.
For more information on how you can leave a Special Legacy Gift to the Lotta Hitschmanova Legacy Fund, please send a confidential note to:
Brian McFarlane, USC Canada, 705-56 Sparks Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5B1
or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 1-800-565-6872, ext 249

Give a meaningful gift that grows and help farmers around the world. You pick a gift that's twofold - support for a farmer given to them in the name of your loved one. You get a card to send your friend, family member or colleague. Your donation goes on to make a big difference. And then of course you get a tax-deductable charitable receipt.

"Making a Bequest to Lotta's Legacy Fund" superimposed on a picture of a woman sitting in front of a bookcase.

For 70 years, USC Canada has been working with partners overseas to make the world “a better, kinder place for all.”

Leaving a gift to USC Canada in your will proclaims your enduring belief in a better future. It honours those who have inspired you and ensures that those values continue on for future generations.

It’s easy to do.

If you already have a will, you can attach a piece of paper called a codicil stating your wishes. We’ve included some sample wording to help guide you below.

If you are making a new will, your lawyer can also use the wording below.

Here is some suggested language for the two most common types of gifts you can leave in your will:

Suggested wording if you would like to leave a residual gift in your will

Leaving a residual gift in your will means that the person or charity named will receive a specific percentage of whatever is left of your property after your estate has covered all its expenses and paid out any gifts you have left to friends and family.

Suggested wording if you would like to leave a specific gift in your will

For more information Frequently Asked Questions

USC Canada in your will

If you have made a gift to USC Canada in your will, we thank you for your generosity. We invite you to let us know about your plans and share with us your vision for a kinder, gentler future. (click here for the confidential confirmation form)

If you would like more information about making a gift to USC Canada in your will, please contact Brian McFarlane 1-800-565-6872, ext 249, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or print and send the form found here ( confidential confirmation downloadable form here )

Our current global food system doesn’t serve the planet well. It doesn’t serve most of the people who live on it well either. It has an unsustainable environmental footprint, threatens the planet’s agricultural biodiversity and leaves too many people hungry, even though enough food is produced.

A better food system is possible. By empowering the people who grow most of the world’s food – small scale farmers – and by supporting them in retaining or adopting environmentally-friendly methods, we can grow enough food to feed a growing planet.

To make this happen, we need people like you to get involved!

Donate-button tbnYour donation is essential to help us continue our work with small-scale farmers around the world, including Canada. Learn more about ways to donate here. Volunteer-button tbnCheck out our volunteer page for ways to help us raise awareness in your community about better, sustainable food systems! And keep an eye out for volunteer postings asking for help with specific projects. Connect-button tbnConnect with us to learn more about our work and stay informed of opportunities to raise your voice in support of a better food system. Sign up to our e-newsletter and/or join the discussion on social media.


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There’s a home for your contribution, wherever you are!

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“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Volunteers have been at the core of our work for almost 70 years. If you are looking for an opportunity to get involved, and you share our passion for vibrant family farms, strong rural communities and healthy ecosystems, join us!

Specific volunteer openings will be posted on this page as they arise. In the meantime, if you are a self-starter and you want to make a difference in your community you might consider planning your own event or fundraiser. Or try picking something from the following list of activities (click for more information):

Host a USC Canada kiosk

Canadians love gardening and good food, but many still have something to learn about the challenges faced by small-scale farmers and the seeds on which our food supply depends. Help us raise awareness about what can be done to support a sustainable and fair food system by holding a USC Canada kiosk at an upcoming event near you! All you need is a warm smile and an interest in talking with others.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242 at least four weeks in advance of your event. We will discuss kiosk planning logistics and provide you with materials to distribute. We will also give you the training you need to speak about USC Canada. You will have all the tools you need to feel prepared and confident going into your event!

Community events where volunteers have hosted a USC Canada kiosks include “Seedy Saturdays” (seed exchange fairs) in the spring, and farmers’ markets in the summer and fall. Multi-cultural, social justice and environmental fairs are also good matches for our mission. Wherever people congregate to learn more about world and food issues, you will find an interested public.

Hold a kitchen table talk for your friends and neighbours

Everybody can support small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity in their own way - but sometimes folks need a bit of group enthusiasm to get started. Become the spark that makes good things happen, and bring food for thought to your next social gathering!

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242 to tell us more about your group and the type of gathering you are planning to hold. We will provide you with discussion kits, short films, and printed materials you can use get the conversation started. If you wish, we can also arrange for one of our staff members to call in during your gathering to answer questions and provide some ideas of what your group could do next.

The combination of good friends, good food and good information is a powerful one. Thank you in advance for giving farmers and seeds a place at your table, and bon appétit!

Organize a film screening at school

Do you want to help your friends and classmates (and yourself!) understand what is going on in the greater world of food? A fun way to do this is to organize a film screening for your school or youth group. Pick a date, invite your friends and get ready for some fascinating conversations.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242 to receive our list of hard-hitting documentaries about food, the environment and social justice. We can help you chose one based on your interests, and we will also provide you with all the logistical guidance you need to organize a fantastic film screening.

If you have volunteer hour requirements and this project would fit, we are happy to vouch for them once your event is completed.

Teach your community about biodiversity

Are you looking for new group activities that are both fun and intellectually stimulating? Learning about other countries, biodiversity and growing your own food is fun and accessible for all ages and ability levels! 

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Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242 to tell us more about your group’s interests and requirements. We can suggest interactive games designed to teach big topics in a fun and accessible way. You can also use one of our presentations to take your group on a tour of USC Canada projects around the world. Last but not least, nothing beats planting a garden, in the ground or in containers, when it comes to connecting people to their food! We can help you get set up with biodiverse seeds and learning activities.

If you have experience developing programming for children, seniors or people with disabilities, and can help us develop more adapted materials, we would also love to hear from you [link mailto This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.].

Get Active for Biodiversity

Good health starts with good food. Good food starts with good seeds. But did you know good seeds are becoming harder to find? A shocking 75 per cent of the varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains have already been lost. Each lost seed takes with it the unique adaptations that allowed it to perform so well in the ecosystem where it was born. It is important to conserve the agricultural biodiversity that is left.

You can take part in one of our seven organized Run for Biodiversity events across the country or organize your own activity. Running, walking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, snowshoeing, skiing… you can do it all for biodiversity.

Getting started is easy:

  1. Pick your activity and set a date. You can set an individual goal or you can recruit a team to join you.
  2. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242. We will get you set up with everything you need.
  3. Start telling people around you about your goal and ask them to support you by making a donation for biodiversity! You can choose to allocate the money you raise to our overall mission or to one of the 11 countries where we have programs.

Don’t forget to share photos from your accomplishments with us. We’re excited to add you to our R4B Hall of Fame!

Volunteer with your workplace for USC Canada

Most of us spend such a large proportion of our time at work… It only makes sense to make that time more meaningful by volunteering with our workplace “family.”

If you have professional expertise you are willing to share, as a group, pro bono, we are very interested in hearing about it. Like all small but mighty non-profits, our needs run a full gamut, so please let us know what you have to offer!

And if you would like to do something different than what you do at your desk all day, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-565-6872 ext. 242 to discuss your needs and interests. We can provide ideas of workplace activities, or let you know if there are any upcoming opportunities in your area to lend a hand for a day to a hard working farmer involved in our Canadian program [hyperlink: Bauta]. There is no better way to learn about where your food comes from!

If you have an employer-supported volunteer program, don’t forget to tell us more about it.

Regardless of how green your thumbs are or what kind of food you're able to access: if you care about how we grow our food and the people who grow it, there are countless ways you can get involved! Improving the global food system starts with citizens connecting into their local food systems. By connecting with others over food – whether that's growing it, purchasing it, or enjoying it – we create the momentum we need to make a difference.

Keep an eye on our calendar for community events and local food services in your region. If you have an event or organization you would like to promote in our calendar, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details.

Calendar of events

Good seeds grow good food and healthy communities.

Click here to donate now!

Together with communities around the world, USC Canada supports programs and training for seed and crop diversity, for replenishing the soils that grows them, and for the rights of those who nurture them. Healthy seeds and families build strong communities.

Monthly giving

Long term solutions like the ones provided by USC Canada need long term support. Your pre-authorized automatic monthly payment can be set at any level and adjusted at any time. Every January we’ll send you an official tax receipt for the total of your annual support.

Donate by mail

Print this form and mail your donation to USC Canada at:

56 Sparks Street, Suite 600
Ottawa, ON Canada
K1P 5B1

Donate by telephone

Toll free, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm at 1-800-565-6872 ext. 233. Ask our Donor Service Representative, Teresa, any questions you have about donating to USC Canada.

 More ways to give

seed saver run button gift-of-securities-button tbn making-a-bequest-button tbn
gifts-that-grow-button tbn in-memoriam-button tbn Tribute-button tbn

USC Canada is a registered charitable organization. Registration # 11927-6129-RR0001.

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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.

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CONTACT US

We would be happy to hear from you.
  • Phone: 1-800-565-6872

USC Canada is a Registered Canadian Charity 11927-6129-RR-0001

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