Thanks for supporting Bountiful Tables!


We’d been mulling over the idea of this fundraiser for about nine months when we decided to take the plunge and organize it. With a quick turnaround time of about four weeks, we hit the streets looking for partner restaurants who would generously donate a portion of their sales for the evening of October 21st to the Parkdale Food Centre. Once word spread in the restaurant community, we were able to line up seven partners: Silver Spoon, Burnt Butter, The Flying Banzini, 10Fourteen, Thyme & Again, Petit Bill’s Bistro, and Hintonburger.

Through the generous donations of our partner restaurants and diners that evening we raised a total of $1924.50.

The continued generosity of our restaurant partners and our neighbours always amazes us.
We are hoping this might become an annual event for us — stay tuned to see!

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!





Fun for all at the Second Annual Parkdale Food Centre BBQ


Yesterday we celebrated summer and our wonderful community! Continuing last year’s tradition, we hosted the second annual Parkdale Food Centre Summer BBQ in neighbouring Laroche Park. A beautiful day was made even better by teaming up with our community partners to deliver a magnificent BBQ for PFC clients.


It was all sunshine and fun thanks to an enthusiastic group of volunteers in the kitchen, at the BBQ, serving, cleaning and hoola-hooping! Special thanks to the Merry Dairy for donating 170 servings of ice cream, Hintonburger for donating 100 of their famous burgers, Sue’s amazing Kitchen Team for mounds of pulled pork and countless bowls of salads and condiments, Hidden Harvest for their nut cracking demos, photographer Dwayne Brown and his Love Ottawa Project, Councillor Katherine Hobbs and her staff, the Salvation Army Transition House for music/setup/tear down, the Somerset West Community Health Centre, and Lorrie Marlow of the Mechanicsville Community Association. This day wouldn’t have been possible without any of you!

Photographer Dwayne Brown from Love Ottawa was on-hand to capture some incredible images of PFC clients, staff and friends with the trademark Love-Ottawa giant white canvas. He shared the photos, and some thoughts on the day over at













PFC 2nd Annual BBQ!

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.

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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.


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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!

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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!

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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.

J.J.’s Generosity


I met J.J.’s mother at a Taste of Wellington last summer. I was a woman on a mission, spreading the word about poverty and food insecurity in an increasingly affluent Wellington West and Hintonburg. She was innocently trying to nab a free but famous mini Flying Banzini cheesecake.

Months later she was at our door with a wide-eyed J.J. He came to ask me a question. “What can I do to help,” he said somewhat shyly.

I knew he had already done the most important thing…he showed interest.

J.J. listened while I spoke about poverty and poor nutrition, the horror of old school food banking and the joy to be had in sharing. We talked about the meaning of empathy and the importance of caring for others.

J.J.’s father is a dentist. He immediately offered toothbrushes. My eyes lit up because toothbrushes are expensive and when forced to choose between buying whole foods or toothbrushes, real food always wins out.

Last week J.J. turned 10. He remembered what his mother had told him about hunger in his neighbourhood. “I didn’t really need anything,” he told me as his mother handed me a cheque for $120 –the proceeds from his no-present birthday party.

I’m smiling in this photo. But inside I am doing cartwheels. 

Petit Bill’s Tutored Whiskey Tasting & Food Pairing

In January, Petit Bill’s hosted a Tutored Whiskey Tasting and Food Paring evening, featuring a great selection of whiskies and bourbons from Beam Global along with an excellent five course dinner prepared by Petit Bill’s chef Glen Sansome and this team. Petit Bill’s has hosted similar events in the past, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Parkdale Food Centre. In fact, last year’s Bourbon evening raised money for us and this year was an even more successful repeat performance.


It was a sold out event and I counted myself lucky to have gotten a ticket. The warmth of the packed restaurant contrasted with the rather cold January evening. 48 guests were welcomed by co-owner Randy Fitzpatrick and we kicked off the evening with an awe-inspiring barrel-aged maple/bacon Manhattan. We even walked away with the rather simple recipe for creating your own bacon-infused whiskey.  Any recipe that starts with a pound of bacon is guaranteed to end well!


We settled at our tables and I joined a group of guys who were veterans of the whiskey/bourbon tasting crowd, having already logged one trip to Kentucky to tour the various bourbon distilleries. Laid out before us were the five whiskeys we would be tasting throughout the evening.


Matt Jones, a cocktail mixologist from Maker’s Mark, was our guide for the evening, introducing us to the history and pedigree of the whiskeys as well as many great stories about the industry and its personalities.

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Then it was time to eat. Chef Sansome delivered a delicious and varied set of courses that perfectly complimented the whiskey – or was it the other way round? Imagine seared sea scallop with sour cherry, bacon and barley fricassee. Or how about house-smoked salmon rillette, grilled pork tenderloin medallions with orange-cranberry marmalade and Owensboro Kentucky BBQ lamb? And of course, there was dessert – a honey-crisp tarte tatin with homemade praline ice cream. Each course coupled with its own whiskey – a decadent evening.


The evening ended on an especially high note. Beam Global donated two gift baskets, a bottle of Maker’s Mark 46 with glasses, and a bottle of Devil’s Cut along with a mini aging barrel to make your own maple/bacon whiskey. Both baskets were raffled off and here are the two lucky winners.

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Speaking of winners, the proceeds of the raffle went to the Parkdale Food Centre and Karen readily accepted a cheque of $845 from Randy and Terry of Petit Bill’s. A big thanks to them and their efforts!

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Thanks to Petit Bill’s for the great photographs!

We love our new blackboard — check it out!

Thanks the fantastic team at Beyond The Pale and Tanya Sprowl-Martelock of Phive Design, we have a new focal point at the Parkdale Food Centre. This new chalkboard has been added to the middle of the room so it can be seen by everyone, with the intention of being our new education center — until now we’ve not had an easy, single spot to share important info, nutrition ideas, post upcoming programs or even just highlight our food of the month. Over the coming weeks, we’ll add a new section that shares what we’re out of to help our clients be aware, our volunteers packing orders, or donors that come in wondering what we could use the most.

We’re still on the lookout for a brochure rack so that we can share brochures and pamphlets, but this is an amazing improvement. We love it!

The HPH: Committed to our Community

Summer Baird, the owner of the Hintonburg Public House, comes by almost weekly to donate…and how do we count the ways….

  • toiletries
  • laundry soap
  • warm clothing
  • non-perishable food
  • meat
  • cash – lots and lots of sash!

The HPH is a glowing example of Community Social Responsibility.  They give because they care, because they feel morally committed to helping their neighbours.  They care with flair!  Nearly every week in November and December they collected specific items, engaging their customers in the process and encouraging the discussion about need in their neighbourhood.  A highly successful raffle and party, of course, capped off weeks of giving.  Next up?  A TWEET UP with a green theme… You don’t want to miss this!

Visit the HPH website to keep tabs on their upcoming events.

There’s one place to head if you need to buy amazing local beer served from a gang who cares- Beyond the Pale!

To celebrate the end of their first year in business, Beyond the Pale decided to host a party at Orange Gallery, asking for donations to the PFC as a feel-good (and giving back) way of celebrating.

They put the word out on social media and SO many people showed up.

When Karen stopped by to pick up a cheque from BTP co-founder Rob McIsaac and discovered the amount — $1000! – she couldn’t contain herself and just had to plant a kiss on his cheek!  We absolutely adore the partnership we have with BTP and their commitment to our community. In addition to helping us raise funds, they also share the spoils of some of their brewing processes with our clients, delivering naked grapefruit — they use the rind for their delicious Pink Fuzz beer, and save the grapefruits themselves for the PFC.  We wish Beyond the Pale many, many more successful years of brewing — their fun-loving company bordering the Parkdale market is a model for others and a great part of our community!

This workplace doesn’t need any special motivation – they take action at The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) & Elections office!

One of our wonderful volunteers, Catherine Cox, who is a part of our Tuesday shift, surprised us recently with a huge haul of food donated by her colleagues at the City of Ottawa’s ATIP & Elections office.  When asked how she motivated her colleagues to collect so much for us she told us: “Actually, I didn’t have to motive one bit! All I have to do is tell my colleagues about some of the people that come in to get food; the looks on their faces; the need.  People in this city are actually hungry.  I tell them about how a box of Kleenex is a luxury item.  I have never actually asked them for anything — they just care.”  The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) & Elections office is located off site from City Hall, and is a legislated unit dealing with confidential privacy issues.  Staff decided that their goal this Christmas was to fill Catherine’s SUV with food for the PFC.

Catherine is very proud of her colleagues explaining “Over the past year, my SUV has been filled to the brim with food, clothes, and children’s books.  If I happen to mention we ran out of sugar last night at the food bank, the next day my office floor is covered with bags of sugar.   This is an office that just keeps on giving no matter what the season.”  Thanks to Catherine for being one of our great volunteers and inspiring others!