Community Garden Supports Low-Income People with Fresh Food and Education

Community Garden Supports Low-Income People with Fresh Food and Education
by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Articles, Blog, Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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Although low-income people may see healthy food choices on the shelves at grocery stores, the cost of them is often out of their range. In Brantford, Ont., The Salvation Army’s community garden and food bank not only gives struggling individuals and families access to nutritious foods, it offers demonstrations such as how to cook and store items, as well as tips and recipes to help clients eat healthy on a budget.

“When you are willing to educate and not just pass out food, people are anxious to learn,” says Nicole Bouw, community and family services worker.

“It helps us get through these difficult times”

“I am so grateful for fresh vegetables for my family,” says Jacob. “It helps us get through these difficult times, and the items received are items we likely couldn’t purchase in a grocery store due to the cost. I love that your food bank grows vegetables and teaches clients how to benefit from them.”

The Salvation Army’s food bank supports up to 250 people in any given month. The community garden, located on site, offers tomatoes, various types of lettuce, kale, bok choy, carrots, green and yellow beans, radishes, onions and zucchini.

“I can make a salad now,” says Alexander. “I can’t remember the last time I had a fresh salad. Thank you, God Bless.”

“I can’t remember the last time I had a fresh salad”

Volunteer, Faith, tends to the garden

Volunteer, Faith, tends to the garden

The Salvation Army’s community garden is one of ten in the city supported by Equal Grounds, a community-based organization that provides seeds, plants and anything needed for starting a garden. Bouw is not only grateful from the much-needed support from the city but for her volunteer, Faith, who gives 15 to 20 hours a month weeding, watering and picking the ripe items.

“Due to COVID-19 and restrictions for volunteers, it’s been difficult to get help,” says Bouw. “In any case, providing struggling individuals and families with fresh, nutritious food that is home-grown brings much satisfaction. When you see and hear clients react to having access to fresh food items, it makes everything we do worthwhile.”

“Thank you,” says Sylvia. “This is over the top! So amazing.”

By Linda Leigh