Our Good Food Box // Sponsoring a Neighbour

Groceries can be expensive and this is often the reason why people come to Parkdale Food Centre. Statistics Canada has indicated that the price of fresh vegetables from January to May of 2014 increased by 5.3% and that the cost of meat increased by 7.5% compared to 2.6% and 1.0% for the same products for the same period of time in 2013. That’s a lot.

To help alleviate the stress on our neighbours who want to cook with fresh fruits and vegetables, we’re asking people to sponsor a Good Food Box for a neighbour in need.

The Good Food Box is a non-profit, community based initiative that allows people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. It’s open to everyone in our community! Best of all, for as little as $10 you can provide almost a weeks’ worth of vegetables for a single person, or for just $20, buy a big box for a family. The prices are competitive and the produce is mostly local, seasonal and very fresh. You can learn more about the Good Food Box on their website: http://www.ottawagoodfoodbox.ca/?page_id=14.

If you don’t have time to volunteer with the PFC, or have difficulty donating fresh produce, this is an excellent way to make a big difference to someone or a family in need.

There are a two easy ways to sponsor Good Food Boxes:

  1. Donate online through our reverse food truck at http://parkdalefood.reversefoodtruck.ca – you’ll get your tax receipt upon payment. There are options for single month or full year commitments.
  2. Bring a cheque to PFC – please make sure you put the cheque in an envelope with the amount on it clearly stated. Provide your full address so we can issue you a tax receipt.

Every box counts and goes to one of our neighbours who really appreciate it. This is a great way to support local farmers, a local organisation, and a neighbour in need! We currently have a waiting list of people hoping to be sponsored. Since our main food that we give out is emergency food for 3-4 days, adding a Good Food Box on top of a regular order allows people to make it last throughout the month.

Exciting News :: Donation Matching until December 31st!

Among our many firsts this year is this exciting (and extremely generous) news: a PFC patron, who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered to match all cash, cheque and online donations to the PFC made between December 4th and December 31st, dollar for dollar to a maximum of $10,000!!!

This is a BIG deal for us. We’re always thankful for the generous support of our community, and donations go a long way towards supporting our neighbours in need. If you are considering making a donation during the holiday season, this is a great time to do it.

Can we reach that $10,000 goal? Help us maximize this generous match!

To donate, you can:

Thank you to our holiday campaign volunteers!

A heartfelt thank you to all our elves!  This year’s holiday postcards have been delivered!


It took a small army of volunteers, board members, teenagers, friends, senior citizens, neighbours who use PFC, and families delivering with kids in tow, to deliver this year’s batch of red postcards in support of our Holiday Giving Campaign out into Kitchissippi!  Here’s hoping our message of “Good Food Helping Good People” catches people’s attention.


For the last two years we’ve saved on the cost of postage and used the power of the people to walk out across 19 mini-routes within our catchment area, between Breezehill and Island Park, and from the river to Carling.  After it’s done, many of us remark that we appreciate our mail delivery people so much more – everyone’s mailbox is in a different spot!

We love hearing stories about how people love the postcards so much they put them up on their fridges!

Taking the Reverse Food Truck to a new location: online!


We’re happy to announce that today we launched the world’s first Online Reverse Food Truck at parkdalefood.reversefoodtruck.ca. This new and innovative channel for donations will give the local community here in Ottawa, and the broader community online a chance to help one of Ottawa’s most dynamic food organizations through convenient, online giving.

The Reverse Food Truck is built on Shopify’s ecommerce platform and allows supporters to donate fresh food, personal hygiene items, or support the centre’s workshops without visiting the Centre during regular operating hours. “The Reverse Food Truck is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to accept donations. Many of our supporters enjoy choosing specific items to bring in, and often, parents will involve their children in the discussion about what donations they would like to provide,” says Hilary McVey, Fundraising Chair on the Board.

Visitors to the online Reverse Food Truck site select the items they would like to donate and checkout in a few simple steps. All donations receive an eligible tax receipt immediately by email.

The website was designed and built by online marketing consultant and web developer David Hicks after visiting the ‘real life’ Reverse Food Truck pilot during the summer of 2014. The PFC team would like to thank him for pitching the online Reverse Food Truck concept and for volunteering to build the website. We hope other food centres might look at the model and realize an opportunity to complement their more traditional donation options. The PFC team would be delighted to share what we have learned through this process, as well as information about the steps involved from idea to launch, with other food centres.

Reverse Food Truck Gets Lots of Love from PFC Neighbours

Parkdale Food Centre coordinator Karen Secord, left, and Hintonburger owner Thomas Williams have teamed up to create a “reverse” food truck pilot program. David Kawai / Ottawa Citizen

You may have heard that we recently started something we like to call a reverse food truck with our (very generous) community partner, Hintonburger. In the off-season for their Hintonburger Express truck, we’ve taken it over with something different in mind than selling delicious food — we’re accepting it!

From July 18th to August 9th, we’ll be collecting fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, healthy non-perishables, and personal hygiene items like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo at this unique location in the Hintonburger’s parking lot (1096 Wellington Street West) from 4 – 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. These donations will then be directly distributed to clients of the Parkdale Food Centre during the Centre’s regular operating hours.

In our first few evenings, we’ve already collected a fantastic number of donations. Thanks to everyone who has come out to visit, drop off items, and support the PFC!





Back to Our Roots — A Gala to Remember!

On May 1st, the Parkdale Food Centre went “Back to Our Roots” as we hosted our first ever gala fundraiser at the Urban Element, located at 424 Parkdale Avenue. 424 Parkdale is the original site of the Parkdale Food Centre so the location holds many special memories for our volunteers and our community. It was the perfect location for our gala and Payton, Carley and the entire Urban Element team went above and beyond to help make the event a success!

payton_sliders  carly_fishcakes

A spirit of generosity and friendship infused the evening as our volunteers, community partners and neighbours came together to help raise funds for the Centre’s healthy food programs. Renée Yoxon and Craig Pedersen created a relaxed vibe with their soulful renditions of some of our favourite jazz classics. We thank the Professional Entertainment Group for providing the PA system for us.  Also thank you to Partytime for all the rentals which they provided as a donation.

guests_mingling   renee_craig

Throughout the evening, our  “gala goers” were treated to some delicious treats thanks to our friends at The Urban Element, Supply & Demand, StoneSoup FoodWorks and of course Marvellous Marlene, from The Merry Dairy! There were also a delightful selection of desserts from the Flying Banzini, Cakes by Katz, and Strawberry Blonde.


stonesoup2   supply

Beyond the Pale generously provided an array of delicious local brews and guests enjoyed a special delivery from Stratus’ Vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. Cheers!

btp   stratus

As guests mingled, snacked and enjoyed the music, they also had a chance to bid on a fantastic lineup of Silent Auction prizes. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of local business owners who provided great prizes to help us meet our fundraising target. Miv Photography, Renu Spa, the GCTC, Twiss & Weber, The Elmdale Oyster House, Whalesbone, Andrew King, Alison Fowler, Beyond the Pale, the NAC, Gallery 3, CAA and essence Catering were just a few of the generous donors who provided prizes for the auction. The bidding was brisk & competitive.  We had many happy prize winners at the end of the night!

auction   auction_winners2
twissandweber   auction_winners

Jim Watson stopped by to surprise us during the evening.


It was a fantastic evening and thanks to everyone’s support, enthusiasm and contributions, we were able to surpass our fundraising goal and raise over $12,000 in one night!  Now that’s a reason to smile!  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.


It was our first foray into a large scale event and overall we were overwhelmed with offers to help and advice on how to proceed.  Thanks again to our hosts at the Urban Element, we felt the magic in the venue.