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

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Good seeds grow good food and healthy communities.

Click here to donate now!

USC Canada supports farmers around the world, helping them to grow more food in ways that protect our environment and nurture seed and crop biodiversity.

Donate online.

Donate by mail Print this form and mail your donation to USC Canada.

Donate by telephone Toll free, 1-800-565-6872 and press 1 to be transferred to fundraising. Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm EST.

More ways to give

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

We’re Celebrating Seeds

In the war on climate change, seeds are underground heroes.

They grow nutritious food, enrich the soil, restore water to parched fields and higher yields increase family income.

Isn't that worth celebrating?

Good seeds help…

The environment and the food you eat are deeply entwined. Everything, from the seed a farmer plants, to the way the crops are tended, to the processing, packaging and transport of food, affects the health of ecosystems.

Good seeds are not only good for the environment, they are good for you. When farmers are able to choose their seeds, they can select with nutrition in mind, instead of just for uniformity and ease of transport. So we’re celebrating seed because they are delicious – and nutritious.

Join the Celebration by donating today.

Generations of farmers around the world have selected, saved and shared their best seeds, expanding seed diversity over time.

They’ve nurtured thousands of varieties – 20,000 varieties of maize (corn) alone – each with their own strengths, adapting to changing conditions with each growing season.

They’ve become resilient. Some varieties are resistant to diseases or pests. Others are tolerant of weather extremes like drought or floods or early frosts. Some have better yields or better nutrition. We need all these traits – now more than ever so our communities can be resilient too.

Where we work / How we work

USC Canada’ Seed of Survival is working with farmers in Canada and 11 other countries around the world.

We match the formal tools of scientists with the hard-earned wisdom of the farmers.
Together in the fields they are experimenting and developing new varieties of hardy seeds. These varieties thrive in harsh and changing conditions.

  • We invest in farmer training and farmers exchanges.
  • We help farmers develop new varieties of crucial crops that are adapted to our new climate realities.
  • We work directly with Universities, Governments, and International bodies to promote the benefits of ecological farming and seed saving, and to protect the rights of farmers to save their own seeds.

We are one of Canada’s oldest international cooperation agencies. We’ve been working globally for 72 years, and have been working with farmers and seeds for the last thirty. And we’re good at it.

Join the growing numbers around the world who believe that good seeds can provide good nutrition, restore life to barren soils, and stop the loss of hardy local varieties of seeds and plants. At home and abroad.

Join us at USC Canada as we celebrate the power of seeds to improve life – so we celebrate our underground heroes.

We can’t do it without the support of people like you.

Join the Celebration!

Thank you for your generosity! Multiply your impact. Help Nepal get the support it desperately needs right now. Share this dire situation with your friends and family.

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

"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.

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

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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