Winnipeg Newcomers Grow Hope at Salvation Army Community Garden

Dil stands in front of garden box at Southlands community garden
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Winnipeg has experienced an influx of newcomers over the past few years and many face food security challenges.

Dil moved to Canada in 2009 with his wife and children from Bhutan. He wanted to grow vegetables to help provide for his family but lives in an apartment with no backyard.

Li, a single parent of two from China, wanted affordable, healthy food for her young children.

As summer approaches, their dream of home grown, nutritious and affordable food is within reach. The Salvation Army’s Southlands Community Church, located in south Winnipeg, has built a 28-plot vegetable garden that has become a powerful tool for newcomers.

Mom and children grow vegetables at Salvation Army community garden

Mom and children grow vegetables at Salvation Army community garden

“Many who use the garden are in the midst of the settlement process and live in apartments until they can find work,” says Captain Peter van Duinen. “The garden is a place where they find emotional support, cultivate their traditional food, share stories, recipes and culture. The garden brings together local people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Participants also feel food secure knowing they can grow food for themselves.

“The garden helps me to grow vegetables for my family,” says Dil. “My wife has struggled with illness and stays home. My son, daughter and I work the garden to provide for my family.”

“The Salvation Army is grateful to the Fort Garry Community Network and their financial grant from Healthy Together Now, and to Turf Boss for the construction of the garden,” says van Duinen.