PFC at Ottawa’s Spur Festival

Last weekend, the PFC’s Karen Secord moderated a panel at the Spur festival held in Ottawa. The panel, called “From Hunger to Health in the Nation’s Capital” brought together a group to talk about food security that included Kaitrin Doll, an Anti-Poverty Community Engagement Worker at the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Pierre Desrochers, a Professor of Geography, U of T Mississauga Campus, and Elaine Power Professor of Sociocultural Studies, Queens University.

The group discussed why the responsibility to feed and the right to food are about more than just basic nutrition, and centered around the seventy-five thousand residents in Ottawa that are unable to access nutritious food, along with the 12 percent increase in food bank users that has occurred over the last three years.

For a majority of panellists at the discussion From Hunger to Health in the Nation’s Capital, food was only the starting point of the discussion. The main issue was poverty.

Some great coverage and opportunities to have further discussion resulted:

For more information about the Spur Festival, visit their website at http://spurfestival.ca/ottawa/.

Volunteer perspective: Community Meals @ PFC

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Once a month on a Friday night, Wendy Hepburn, Assistant Director with Citizenship and Multiculturalism, helps to organize a community meal at the Parkdale Food Centre in Ottawa. Community meals support the Food Centre’s goals to provide fresh, wholesome food to people in need, as well as teach members of the community how to cook healthy and delicious meals with simple ingredients.

As part of her volunteer duties, Wendy comes up with the menu and identifies a few dishes suitable for 25 to 30 volunteers and clients to make together. Preparation can include washing and peeling vegetables, cutting fruit, making dough and setting the table. Wendy loves watching people connect while they collaborate in the kitchen.

“Everyone gets a chance to learn and contribute,” she says. “Clients are teaching volunteers and volunteers are teaching clients.”

The community meals are about more than just providing good food for those who can’t afford it. They help people in need connect and socialize with their neighbours, fostering mental health as much as physical health.

“I find people really enjoy having something to look forward to on a Friday night.” Wendy says. “Sharing a meal and engaging with people in the community is pretty special. It helps fight isolation and loneliness, for volunteers and clients alike.”

Repost of article from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s daily internal newsletter Today@CIC. Published with permission.

Help your neighbours through the Parkdale Food Centre this holiday season

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As the holiday season and the end of the year approaches, we’re often asked about ways people can help our neighbours. So, we thought we would put together a couple of suggestions for those looking for ideas. Donations make an enormous difference to our programs and the support that we are able to offer the more than 700 people we help each month.

Make a Financial Donation
Financial donations are a great way to support the work that we do, and allow us to direct funds to the areas where they are most needed, or to specific programs (based on a donor’s request).

You can make a financial donation in a couple of ways:

  • Donate online through Canada Helps
  • Visit us to drop off a donation in person
  • Donate by mail by sending cheques to:

Parkdale Food Centre
2-30 Rosemount Ave
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1P4

Donate through the Reverse Food Truck
Our online Reverse Food Truck provides a variety of options for sponsorship and donations, from sponsoring a neighbour for a set period of time, giving a one time donation of the things we’re most in need of, supporting a specific program, or even a recurring donation. Donate online through the Reverse Food Truck today >>

Donate in person
We’re always happy to welcome visitors to the Centre, and happily accept donations of non-perishable food, preferably items from our Good Food List, or even fresh produce. We also post weekly updates about our most needed supplies on twitter, facebook, and instagram, so you can find out what is running low, or is in the most demand as our #PFCMostNeeded.

Contribute to our annual Soup & Socks campaign
Each year, we collect canned soup, warm socks for men, women, and children, and little extras like coffee, hot chocolate, hats, mittens, and Giant Tiger gift cards to distribute to our neighbours throughout December. Socks, soup and additions can be dropped off at the Centre during our regular operating hours.

Gift a Christmas Basket
Each year, we pair individuals or families in our community with individuals or families in need to give customized Christmas baskets – complete with small gifts and all of the fixings for Christmas Dinner. Interested in participating in our Christmas Basket program? Contact Karen by email to let her know you’re interested.

Give your time
Another way to give is to get involved as a volunteer. Our volunteers help with everything from stocking shelves, leading workshops, the collective kitchen, and even running our website. Do you have some time or skills to lend? Learn more about how to get involved on our Volunteers page.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

We’ve all heard the saying “good things come in small packages” and, if you’ve had the good fortune to travel, either for work, or even better for pleasure, then you’ve probably encountered your fair share of tiny toiletries in hotel bathrooms. These could include shampoos, conditioners, bath gels or hand soaps- everyday items that many of us take for granted.

For our neighbours at the Parkdale Food Centre, these basic toiletries are often luxuries that are not a top priority, particularly when food is scarce, but they are very important for building a positive self image and strengthened self –esteem.

Pack and Go!
If you travel regularly and don’t use these small toiletries during your hotel stay, please consider popping them in your bag and collecting them for our neighbours at The Parkdale Food Centre. It’s a small action in isolation but if we pool our efforts, it can amount to something much bigger.

If you have friends or colleagues who travel regularly, consider inviting them to join us.  If you are part of a book club, sports team or other community organization, consider inviting your group to get involved so you can multiply the results. After all, tiny only stays tiny for so long. With a little teamwork and some creativity, we can all make a difference.

The next time you hit the road, think about the “small packages” you can gather to bring some good to a neighbour’s day.

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Making Directed Donations Through the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC)

It’s time for the annual Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC). Have you made your donation yet? Did you know that you can direct your donation to a registered charity of your choice, like the Parkdale Food Centre? Any Government of Canada employee that participates in the GCWCC can choose to direct their donations to a specific registered charity, like the PFC. Doing so is easy, and helps us receive stable funding throughout the year.

Read on below for step-by-step instructions. Making a directed donation is easy and can be done online through ePledge.  

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To use ePledge, contact your office or team’s canvasser or GCWCC representative and they will give you login/access information. Payments can be made through payroll deduction, credit card, cheque, or cash.

Step 1: Once you’ve logged in, you will be asked to fill out your Pledge Type (one time, ongoing, etc) and then you will be asked to select your charity. To direct your donation to the Parkdale Food Centre, type our Registered Charity Number into the appropriate box: 889365003RR0001

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Step 2: Click Search. The following screen will appear, indicating that it has found the Parkdale Food Centre, with a space to enter your donation amount.

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Step 3: Once you’ve entered your amount, click Next and the confirmation page will appear:

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This is where you designate the amount per deduction that you’d like to donate to the Parkdale Food Centre.  Once you’ve input the amount click Add and then verify that everything is correct.  

Follow the remaining steps and voila! You’ve successfully made a directed donation.

All About Food – A Community Walkathon!

A great new event is happening in our community! The All About Food Community Walkathon is taking place on Sunday, October 18, 2015. Join your family, friends, neighbours, and a number of great organizations for a 2.5km walk in our community to help fund various food programs at the participating organizations.

All proceeds from this Walkathon will help fund the various food programs at these participating organizations:

Cash donations at this multi-agency event will be divided equally between the organizations, or donations can be made by cheque to a specific organization from the list above. A tax receipt will be issued for all donations of $20.00 or more. Thank you!

EVENT DETAILS
Sunday, October 18th, 2015. Rain or shine!

  • 12:30 PM – Registration & Pledge Form Drop Off @ St-Luke’s Table
  • 1:00 PM – Depart from St Luke’s Table (760 Somerset Street West)
  • Pit Stop – Parkdale Food Centre at 30 Rosemount Avenue
  • Final Stop (3:00PM) – Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Avenue

Maps will be provided at the starting point, and volunteers will guide you along the way if needed. Agency information and tours will be provided so you can learn more about the important work that we do. Information about the Dalhousie Food Cupboard will be available at St Luke’s Table. Refreshments will be provided!

Interested in participating? Download the pledge form, collect pledges, and mark your calendars!

“Awesome” news!

We’re excited to share the news that the PFC’s Karen Secord has been selected as the recipient of September’s Awesome Ottawa award. This $1000 no strings attached grant from the Ottawa chapter of the Awesome Foundation, an ever-growing worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe.

“I run a food bank in an area of Ottawa that is fast becoming gentrified,” explains Karen. “But the 14 rooming houses, transition house, mental health housing, family shelter, and Ottawa Community Housing buildings tell a different story. I want to put a community fridge on a street corner in Hintonburg. ”

To read the full story, visit: http://awesomeottawa.ca/2015/09/feel-the-food/

 

Introducing Thirteen Muesli: the faces behind the Social Enterprise

Last month we told you a bit about the Muesli Project — and this month we’re back to introduce the team behind this social enterprise. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, you can visit their website at www.thirteenmuesli.com

We are thirteen teenagers with a business. Not much money. Lots of heart. A vision for a healthier future. For all of us.

 

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AYAN
Hi, I’m Ayan. My parents were born in Somalia. I was born in Holland in 1999. I speak Dutch. My mother and I brought my two younger sisters and baby brother to Canada in September 2014. I dream of a bright future.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility. It will help fund my education, change my life, send me to law school.

 

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GHITA
Hi, I’m Ghita.
I was born in Morocco in 2000. We came to Canada when I was 8 years old.
My mother is a nurse. But not here.
I am an only child.
I am a student in the International Baccalaureate Program.
Maybe one day I will be your doctor.
Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile.
This business is my responsibility.

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KEJAH
Hi, I’m Kejah. I was born in Ottawa. Most of my relatives are from Britain, Trinidad and Jamaica. I have one sister. I am the oldest. We are homeschooled. I live in Rochester Heights. But just because you live in the ‘hood doesn’t mean you have to stay in the ‘hood.
One day I will be a neurosurgeon. Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility. The next time you pick up a box of sugary cereal or processed granola I bet you will wonder, “Why not muesli ?”

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DAIJAH
Hi, I’m Daijah. I was born in Ottawa in 2001. Most of my relatives are from Britain, Trinidad and Jamaica. I have one sister. I am the youngest. We are homeschooled.

I dance. You can read my mind when I dance.
Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile.
This business is my responsibility. It is limited only by my imagination.
I dream large.

 

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DAVID
Hi, I’m David. I was born in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo and lived in Uganda before coming to Canada as a refugee in 2013.
There are 12 people in my family.
I speak 3 languages well – English, Kiswahili, Lugando – and I am learning French.
Soccer is my game.
Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile.
This business is my responsibility.
All the money I earn from it will be spent on my education

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DASHA
Hi, I’m Dasha. I was born in Ottawa in 1996. Most of my life I have lived in Ukraine. I live in an apartment with my mother and younger sister.

I have a job. I love to draw.
One day I will be a doctor.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile.
This business is my responsibility.
Believe in me.

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GLODIE
I am Glodie. I was born in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo and lived in Uganda before coming to Canada as a refugee in 2013. There are 12 people in my family. I have a job. In 2016 I will go to university. One day I will be a lawyer.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

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LANDRY
I am Landry. I was born in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo and lived in Uganda before coming to Canada as a refugee in 2013. There are 12 people in my family.

I play the piano without knowing how to read music. I take every opportunity to learn. One day I will be a doctor.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

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THIENA
I am Thiena. I was born in Burundi, where my parents still live. I came to Canada with my aunt. We live in a family shelter. I am now a University of Ottawa student. One day I will be an anesthesiologist.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

 

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KEREN
I am Keren. I was born in Belgium in 2001. Both of my parents were born in Congo. We came to Canada in April 2015. I love basketball, dance and music.

I am learning English, but speak fluent French and Dutch. 

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

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SUMMER
I am Summer. I was born in Ottawa in 1997.

I am a mother. I dream art.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

 

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EMMA
I am Emma. I was born in Belgium. My parents were born in Congo.

Music makes me move. African dance is in my heart. I’m very social, and adore spending time with those I love. I am learning English. Practise with me.

Now I am one of Thirteen: A Social Enterprise. We proudly create, market and sell small batch, handcrafted muesli. It is healthy, convenient and versatile. This business is my responsibility.

 

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Huge thanks to JVL Photography for generously taking photographs of the entire Thirteen Muesli team.

Cube for Food — Thursday September 24th

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Please join us for a fun Party hosted by the Cube Gallery, on Thursday September 24th!

Join us from 7:00-9:30pm at Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St. W. for:

  • Funky (danceable) music by Bumpin Binary
  • Nibbles from Canvas, Supply & Demand, Thyme & Again, and Wellington Gastropub
  • Cash bar hosted by Petit Bill’s, with beer courtesy of Beyond the Pale

Grab some friends and join us for an evening of art, music, fun and a special “food cubed” silent auction. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased online via eventbrite at http://cubeforfood.eventbrite.ca

The Muesli Project

 What’s The Muesli Project?
Parkdale Food Centre (PFC) is ecstatic to have recently been granted funding from a donor who would like to remain anonymous. This funding will provide an opportunity for 15 youth (aged 15-21) to launch a food-based social enterprise called The Muesli Project.

The Muesli Project’s mission is to provide 15 young individuals with a one-year opportunity to start and run a business selling muesli with the help and support of a team of experts and mentors to gain valuable skills and experience for their future.

At the end of this exciting venture and training program, any profits from the business will be distributed amongst the participants upon graduation of the program in the hopes that this money will be used for further education and/or to start their own business.

After a great round of interviews, we are excited to announce that we have recently accepted 15 strong, amazing individuals to make up our Youth Team!

Teaching, mentoring and supervising our youth team will be:
Sarah Stewart: Team Leader; OCT Educator & Food Blogger at sometimesyouneedtocook.com
Jo Ann Laverty: Business Advisor; Co-founder of The Red Apron redapron.ca
Karen Secord: Parkdale Food Centre Manager
Christine Earnshaw: Parkdale Food Centre Board Representative

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Why Muesli?
Muesli is a fiber-packed, nutrient-rich yet convenient breakfast and snack that has always been underrated. Muesli is a mix of oats (and sometimes other grains), nuts, seeds, and dried fruit but, as opposed to the ever-popular granola, muesli does not contain added sugar or oil and is not baked. It is usually eaten raw with a big splash of milk like other breakfast cereals, however, it can also be enjoyed as a snack like trail mix, warmed up like an oatmeal, sprinkled on yogurt, smoothies, soups, or salads. Since PFC is dedicated to providing healthy, nutritious food to its neighbours, muesli fits right in. We hope to bring muesli back to the mainstream!

Why The Muesli Project?
Parkdale Food Centre is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization that provides emergency food aid, cooking and nutrition education, and an open and welcoming gathering place for individuals and families in need.

While we have expanded the number of programs we offer to our neighbours in need, we know that we can be doing more for marginalized youth in our area. Over the past year, there has been an increase in support from our community partners, mainly from professionals in the food and restaurant industry, who are willing and ready to support programs for young people to gain valuable skills and experience.

Recently we have also been seeing the benefits of bringing people together to learn food skills, increase nutritional awareness and become more aware about food security issues in our community. By opening up the centre for more programs and services like The Muesli Project, we hope to continue to build a stronger and more resilient community.

When Does The Muesli Project Start?
The Muesli Project’s 2-week Business Boot Camp starts on August 17th, 2015. This is when the youth team will have essential and intensive business training with PFC’s team as well as with a wide range of industry professionals who are generously dedicating their time to this exciting venture. During this Business Boot Camp, the youth team will create a business plan together as well as develop their muesli recipes and branding. After the Boot Camp, you may see The Muesli Project’s signature blends popping up at local craft shows, farmers’s markets, artisan shops and even online!

Watch for us and the unveiling of  The Muesli Project at the Taste of Wellington on September 19.

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