All About Food Community Walk-A-Thon

The Parkdale Food Centre is happy to be participating in the All About Food Community Walk-A-Thon. On Sunday, October 16th, registration and pledge drop off starts at 12:30 pm at the Dalhousie Food Cupboard (211 Bronson Ave.). The walk begins at 1pm and will end at the Parkdlae United Church.

The walk is 2.5 km long, and maps will be provided at the starting point.

Agency tours will be offered so you can learn more about the important work we do.

Light refreshment will also be provided.

The walk-a-thon will also be supporting St. Luke’s Table, the Parkdale United Church, and the Dalhousie Food Cupboard.

Below is information regarding this wonderful event!


Walkathon event details sheet

Walkathon pledge sheet

4th Annual Parkdale Food Centre Community BBQ

It all started  on Monday the same week. The excitement could be sensed in everyone’s words, and actions. The question that was trending was, “ are you coming to the barbecue?” or even “ do you know about the barbecue happening this Wednesday?” And that was only when they were talking because they were all busy working on something. From getting the barbecues ready to tidying up the place, without mentioning any of the kitchen duties, they were at it, they had to make it happen and it had to be done properly. Responsibilities were shared. Phone calls were being answered, orders picked up, cupboard checked twice, hamburger patties made, drinks made or bought, nothing was missing.

Then came the big day, Wednesday, July 13th. One would have thought that people were stressed but no, they were as casual as they can ever be. Knowing what they had to do and filling in on other tasks when need be.

As early as 9 am, they had started setting up already, and as soon as the set up was done, the fire was set up to the grills and the good smell of deliciousness paired with the live music were invading the whole neighborhood.

Just as last year, a section of the road was closed. This not only made it safe for people to dance and seat on the street, but it also attracted groups of passer-by putting an emphasis on PFC and it’s impact on the community.

The weather was great with a high of 32 and a low of 20. Funny how it started raining right when we were taking down the last tent ( proof that the weather was collaborative).

This year’s BBQ was generously supported by the Resurrection Church, which enabled us to buy all of the necessary items, including all of the hamburger and hotdog buns, watermelon, and salad ingredients. With these funds, we were also able to pay the wonderful band! The church also brought over their blue Imagination Blocks which the kids absolutely loved.

Just as well, we could not go without thanking the stores that generously donated their products. We find in this category Absinthe and Saslove meat shop, for their amazing burgers, Holland’s cake and shake for the giant cake they provided us with, and the Merry Dairy for their variety of ice cream. One can surely say that this year’s barbecue was a success, and all that, of course, would not be possible without the support of our community, and the hard work of the volunteers.

Blog post by Thiena Corlie Gapfasoni ~ Photos by Nancy 


Branching Out Gala – Amazing success!

On Thursday June 23rd, we hosted our third annual Gala – Branching Out – at the GCTC. We were thrilled with the location which gave us more space for our amazing crowd to mix and mingle.   The crowd was a great mix of donors, foodies, volunteers, Board Members, community supporters and some neighbours were thrilled to attend thanks to some tickets that were donated.  Our goal was to raise $20,000 which would pay for two months of our summer grocery bills.  We came tantalizingly close at $17,800.  We were thrilled with the generosity of everyone who attended and are determined next year will be the year we break $20,000!  Our shelves will be stocked over the summer months when we typically struggle to keep up with demand when many of our donors are away on summer vacations.

Photo by Paula Roy

We couldn’t put on the event without the amazing generosity of our food and drink providers.  Food stations by Absinthe, Allium, Bar Laurel, DISH, Holland’s Cake & Shake, Supply and Demand, Thyme & Again, and Urban Element.  Folks were raving about the food all night.  

Daniel Ramjattan brought his amazing Cuban guitar music.  We also thank the crew at GCTC including Amelia and Catharine for being wonderful to work with.  A special thanks to Sheila Whyte for donating a crew of amazing servers from Thyme & Again which kept the evening flowing perfectly.  

Beyond the Pale generously provided an array of delicious local brews and guests enjoyed wine provided by Diamond Estate Winery c/o Liam Doody and Reif Estate Winery c/o Roger Linton/Linarc Consulting.  

The Silent Auction tables upstairs and downstairs were busy with amazing prizes.  Bidding was fierce!  We were thrilled with the generosity of local business owners who provided great prizes to help us meet our fundraising target.  The hottest prize of the night went to a Private Shopping Experience by Twiss & Weber followed closely by an amazing travel credit provided by VIA Rail.  Other great prizes included donations from Gallery 3, Uproar Paint and Paper, Diane and Jen, and Escape Manor were just a few of the generous donors who provided prizes for the auction.  We had many happy prize winners at the end of the night and a few folks regretting they hadn’t placed that last bid in time!

It was wonderful to have 13Muesli on hand to both give out samples during the evening and also hand out a bag as a thank you to all the party goers on the way out.  They are close to wrapping up their year and we were bursting with pride to see their confidence in sharing with folks what the program has meant to them.

Our community helpers from Fisher Park Summit were there to greet folks at the door and also helped to raise enthusiasm at our Photo wall.  These helpers volunteer regularly at our Centre and truly understand the various programs we offer our neighbours.

We were also happy to have a video crew lead by Roberta Bouchard with camera folks Ryan and Nick.  We got some great clips of guests chatting about the Centre and please watch for a new video coming up where we share the thoughts out to you all.

The Photo wall was new for us.  A way to share all the different programs we offer to our neighbours.  It was also wonderful to read the many thoughtful responses to the questions of Parkdale is … , Food is…, Hunger is… and Community is….. . We took all the amazing responses and are planning to display them up on the walls of the Centre very soon.

When we look at how far this event has come in three years it is reflective of how far the Parkdale Food Centre has come.  The supporters are many but the need remains.  It’s our largest event of the year but we feel the community support.  Thanks to all of you for letting us raise the funds we need to support your neighbours.

Until next year!

Photos below by JR Photography

Neighbor Advisory Committee Meeting

Recently, we have started the Neighbor Advisory Committee so that the staff, volunteers and board members can better understand how we are affecting change for the 700+ neighbors that we serve in our catchment area. The first two meetings have provided a lot of feedback as to what is going well and what could be improved.

So far we only have four members, but they have truly opened our eyes, while providing a unique perspective on the events and projects that happen at the Parkdale Food Centre.

We hope to provide regular updates as to what is happening regarding these meetings.

Website Changes

The members who have attended have voiced their concerns over the lack of information regarding our food bank hours on the front page. A lot of people who need access ask their workers from Ontario Works or other networks about where they can access services like the food bank, showers, cooking classes, drop in lunches, or storage lockers. In the age of technology where almost everyone has access to the internet, this information is best kept at everyone’s fingertips. A calendar of events that is user friendly and regularly updated is also helpful for our neighbors in need.

Neighbors Feel Included and Not Judged

On the positive side, neighbors also appreciate how much this centre has removed a lot of stigma that surrounds people who need to access the food bank. They feel that they are included in activities and the general goings on. They love that volunteers are understanding of everyone’s background, whether it is because they are low income, living in the shelter, or are living with mental health issues. It’s great to see that the environment we have created is appreciated by those who use it.

Visit Reviews or Testimonials

A very interesting idea that was put forth was to add a user experience rating section or page where testimonials can be added. It was mentioned that some people are afraid to use the food bank for fear of being judged. There is still severe stigma that surrounds those who are forced to use food bank, and we want to advertise that they do not have to worry about coming in.

Three summer jobs for students available at PFC

We are thrilled to announce a call for applications from high school, college and university students to work with us in July and August. Candidates should be comfortable working independently and taking initiative. They should also understand the challenges faced by our neighbours or be interested in learning about them.
Please send your resume to: by 6pm on Friday, June 17. Interviews will be held on June  22

2016 Annual General Meeting

The Board of Directors for the Parkdale Food Centre is pleased to extend an invitation for your presence at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 27th April 2016 from 7.00pm at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington St W, Ottawa ON).

Registration will commence at 6.00 p.m., followed by the Annual General Meeting at 7.00 p.m.

Kindest regards,

Karen Secord
Manager, Parkdale Food Centre


  • 6:00pm Registration
  • 7:00pm Manager’s report and guest speakers
  • 7:45pm Business meeting
    • Acceptance of minutes from 2014 AGM
    • Presentation and acceptance of 2015 annual report and financial statements
    • Election of Directors
    • Questions to Directors
  • 8:45pm Refreshments and discussion

Please RSVP to Laura Stuart before Monday, April 25, 2016

Please complete and sign the Membership Form before the AGM
Download Membership Form(PDF)

Keynote Speaker: Marco Pagani

Born and raised in Ottawa, Marco Pagani began his career at Nortel Networks back in the mid-1980s, progressively working his way through the ranks to President of a number of Nortel business units over close to two decades with the company.

From managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1-billion in revenue, to serving as Chair and CEO of a variety of successful start-ups, Marco has enjoyed a long and illustrious high-tech career in the city.

He has also been an active contributor to the local charitable sector throughout his lifetime, and now serves as President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa. In just two short years, Marco has set and met a series of highly ambitious targets, raising both the organization’s assets and brand profile to new heights, and acting as a key player in a variety of community development and city-building initiatives that will help shape the Ottawa of the future.

Community Foundation of Ottawa Twitter:@Ottawa_Gives

Thirteen Muesli Auditions for CBC’s Dragons’ Den

13 Muesli Dragons Den audition

Dragon's Den auditions today!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh! #dragonsden #dragonsdenauditions #13muesli #thirteenmuesli

A photo posted by Thirteen: A Social Enterprise (@13muesli) on

Parkdale Food Centre’s social enterprise, 13 Muesli, recently auditioned for CBC’s popular Dragons’ Den program.

“It was a big opportunity for Thirteen Muesli that we have never experienced before.”—Glodie Iragi

The thirteen high schoolers started their business last year with $2800 and were asking the Dragons for funding to help grow their business and  access the Dragons’ savvy as mentors.

Bhavana Gopinath at the Kitchissippi Times talked to 13 Muesli about their business, audition, and goals for 2016. Read the entire article at The Kitchissippi Times.

Our Giving Moment to the Parkdale Food Centre

“Corporate social responsibility”, as a term, has the look of typical business-speak, doesn’t it? But don’t let that deceive you – CSR is not just another piece of jargon from the corporate world.

For those new to the term, CSR “aims to embrace responsibility for corporate actions and to encourage a positive impact on the environment and stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, communities.”

And as a philosophy and a practice, it’s become a key part of the way some of the best companiesdo business.

MediaMiser has our own dedicated CSR Committee and, while we conduct initiatives throughout the year, it’s the holiday season that really brings into focus the importance of helping our community.

Marcus_and_Karen_PFCThis year, as in several years past, we’ve made the Parkdale Food Centre our charity of choice. As an organization dedicated to providing emergency food assistance to those in need, it embodies the values both of the season and of social responsibility.

Two gift baskets were donated by one of our employees, Donald Den, who couldn’t be in Ottawa for the holidays. We sold tickets to raffle them off, with all the proceeds going directly to the Centre.

And it’s turned out to be our best year yet: with an appetite for giving (and maybe for those salted caramels in the “sweet” basket), MediaMiser raised around $600.

Charity is a fundamental part of citizenship, and we’re proud to donate what we can to the Parkdale Food Centre. This holiday season, we’re making it our giving moment.

Heck, if it’s good enough for the Governor General, it’s good enough for us!


Originally posted by Marcus Kaulback at MediaMiser
Our Giving Moment to the Parkdale Food Centre

The Nature of Giving

Nature was the prominent theme as Cindy Scott and Roger Bryanton hosted their second annual ‘pop up’ Art Show and Sale in support of the Parkdale Food Centre. Once again, local artists Christopher Griffin and Nicole Allen donated 15% of the evening’s sales to support PFC’s “good food” programs for neighbours in need.

Nicole’s brilliant florals, dramatic landscapes, and cheeky birds were a popular choice as guests got a head start on their holiday shopping. Two ‘big birds’- “Old Soul” and “The Optimist”- kept a close eye on the action as buyers snapped up Nicole’s blooming vases, rugged nature scenes, and feisty feathered friends.

Fresh from completing two major installations at the new Glebe Mobility Hub and Pomeroy House restaurant, Christopher offered art lovers an array of haunting nudes, original cement etchings and an eclectic selection of vibrant street scenes and animal life inspired by recent travels to Cuba, Panama, and locales closer to home, like Patterson Creek and Brown’s Inlet.

The evening included first time art buyers (and newlyweds!), avid collectors, holiday shoppers and those who simply wanted to appreciate the talent and creativity of two very dedicated and generous artists.

The event raised over $2000 in just over 4 hours – funds that will make a big difference over the holiday season and as Parkdale Food Centre plans its programs for 2016.

Thanks to Cindy, Roger, Christopher and Nicole for demonstrating the true nature of giving.

Learn more about Nicole Allen: Website | Facebook 

Learn more about Christopher Griffin: Website | Facebook


Nicole Allen and Christopher Griffin


First time art buyers – and newlyweds!



First time art buyers – and newlyweds!


Cindy Scott, Nicole Allen & Virginia Vince of Bloomfields Flowers