Stuff the bus – Corus Feeds Kids

Help us stuff this bus with food!

Fresh Radio 104.5 and Boom 101.9 are partnering with Cornwall Transit to host a food drive for us on Friday, June 10th. The bus will be parked in front of City Hall (360 Pitt Street) from 6 am to 7 pm.

We want to stuff every seat, cover every window, and block the emergency exit – so grab some non-perishable food and help us out!

The Agape Centre serves more than 1000 hungry people a month. Non-perishable and fresh food are greatly appreciated but items that are especially needed are rice, pasta and peanut butter. Please check the expiry dates on all your donations.

Fresh and Boom will be on site from 6am to 7pm, so come down with your donation! The stations will be broadcasting live, and will have some swag to hand out. With your donation, you can enter to win a pair of tickets to RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on July 7th, featuring Billy Idol!

Right now we are most in need of:
Peanut butter
Pasta
Rice
Cereal
Canned tomatoes
Canned vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables
No child should ever miss a meal, so we’re doing something to make sure that doesn’t happen! Corus Feeds Kids!

New board members needed for dynamic and diverse leadership

With three board members ending their term, chair Jim Healey says they are looking for “a few good people” to re-energize the board.

“We need community members with a passion for helping the disadvantaged, especially around food security and social programs, to reenergize the board,” Healey said.

The board of directors is made up of volunteers who set the tone and direction for the local food bank and community kitchen, providing oversight, leadership and guidance.

Healey, in his 5th year as board member, is active in community events, fundraising initiatives, and is currently acting as Chair of the Board.

“For me, the issue of the working poor really touches me. There are people working but maybe at minimum wage, and they need a little leg up, a little help to get over the hump, and three or four days of food is sufficient to keep that family going,” he said.

Three directors have recently completed their term, and the team has already recruited one new member.

Rachel Larin, a mother of 2 young adults and a teenager, joins the board, offering a unique perspective as someone with lived experience.

With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa, Larin has worked with the National Aboriginal Women’s Association as Director of Communications, as well as a manager at St. Lawrence Parks Commission, where her biggest legacy was the implementation of the 1-800 reservation system.

But in 2005 Larin fell on some hard times.

After a difficult separation, she was left with a lot of debt and full custody of her three children, and needed a little help from her community.

“I couldn’t make ends meet,” said Larin. “On paper it looked doable, but my reality was that I was struggling to maintain a full-time job and still afford to feed my kids.”

As someone who visited the Agapè Centre food bank for a period of time, Larin says she can understand what people who are using the services are going through, and hopes to bring the link between front line services and the executive level.

“I want to offer my input based on my personal experience and to help bring ideas from the front line to the table,” she said.

Larin has volunteered at the Agapè Centre with fundraising events and Christmas basket registration. During this process people shared their stories of struggle, and Larin was happy she could genuinely say ‘I understand, I’ve been there, how can I help?’

“I’m coming in at a time when there are so many changes and opportunities,” she said.

Larin brings experience in fundraising, grant application writing, strategic planning, and marketing and communications,

“In this role, I can hone my skills and pay it forward,” she said. “I’m hoping to make an impact and help move the organization forward.”

Board membership is comprised of up to 10 directors, including 4 executive roles. Each member can serve a total of six years consecutively (3-year term renewable once).

The team meets monthly 10 times a year, and its committees (fundraising; strategic planning; membership; governance; budget and finance) meet on an ad hoc basis.

Healey says serving on the board is a great opportunity to give back to the community and open your eyes to some of the social issues that exist here that we may not be aware of.

“This role certainly puts that right in your face,” he said.

The chair also noted that some great additions to the board might include people with backgrounds in areas like project management, accounting, nursing/medicine, dietician, social work or mental health field.

The board plans to enter into strategic planning process this fall, so interested community members are encouraged to submit an application by June 13 for consideration before the summer.

For more details on the role, click here: Board Member Job Description

Click here for  Board of Directors Application Form

For more information or to submit an application, please contact Jim Healey, Chair of the Board of Directors at jim@roadsigns.ca

Canstruction Cornwall 2016 Competition Results

The inaugural ‘Canstruction’ Cornwall competition raised over 12,000 cans of food for the Agape Centre.

The cans were delivered to the Agape Centre on May 2 and the food is already filling the food bank shelves at a time of year when donations are very low.

The six participating teams came up with a design, purchased hundreds of cans, and then built the structures in less than 12 hours.

The winners of the Canstruction Cornwall 2016 design and build competition are:

People’s Choice Award: ‘Spiderman’ by Cornwall Rotary Interact Clubs
This structure was voted the public’s favorite by donation. It was a pretty tight race, and this award category really brought out the competitive side in our teams. In total, the structures collected more than $1,300 for the Agapè Centre, and the winning structure raised $350. This structure was a perfect fit with the CAPE weekend that took place at the Benson Centre during Canstruction.

Interact2

Structural Ingenuity: ‘Spiderman’ by Cornwall Rotary Interact Clubs
Presented to a design that contained little props, only permissible materials, and has a high level of difficulty and skill. It was particularly impressive, since it was built by our youngest team, made up of high school students, a few of their teachers, and mentors, along with an engineer. It was also the largest structure.

Jurors’ Favorite: Episode VII: The Cans Awaken: The BB-ATE Droid by Professional Engineers Ontario, Upper Canada Chapter
Presented to a structure that was creative, grabbed attention at first sight, was an outstanding design, and made a lasting impression on our panel of judges. It had a creative play on words for its name and description, and even incorporated a projector light into the structure.

PEO3

Best Use of Labels: Episode VII: The Cans Awaken: The BB-ATE Droid by Professional Engineers Ontario, Upper Canada Chapter
Presented to a structure that utilized each label to form every detail of the structure. They took great care to position their labels precisely. And while this detail was not shared with the judges, it should be mentioned that this team actually had to change their food order after their design was complete because the food company changed the colours on many of the labels they originally chose.

Best Meal: A Local Pint – BEERgon Canstruction Team by Bourgon Construction
Presented to a structure that contained nutritional ingredients, and particularly lots of great protein. This team took care to think about what food would be beneficial to the food bank. The structure itself was an homage to a local small-batch brewery that uses food sourced locally. And it’s interesting to note that one of the members of this team is actually a volunteer at the Agapè Centre’s food bank.

Bourgon
Honorable Mention – Kids’ Favorite: ‘KIN der garden’ by Kinsmen Club of Cornwall
This structure was special because many of our volunteers at the voting table talked about how much the kids in particular loved this structure. It was right at their level, they loved the colours, and the smiley faced details taped to the cans.

Kinsmen3

Honorable Mention – Community Innovation: ‘Seaway Bridge’ by WSP/Architecture 49
This structure deserves special recognition for tying in the community aspect of this competition. This team engaged the community they work with, and secured sponsors to help purchase the food cans. Then, they incorporated their supporters into the structure by painting and pasting their sponsors’ logos onto the trucks included on their structure. Their design description was also beautifully written to capture the importance of community, connections and bridging gaps.

WSP

Thank you to everyone who helped make this first year a success: teams, sponsors, volunteers, community partners, and everyone who came out to vote.

Canstruction Thank you Ad Final

Summer Student Job Position: Cooking Class and Gardening Coordinator

Job Position: Cooking Class and Gardening Coordinator

Summer Student Position

Terms:  June 13th to August 5th
35 hours per week
Languages: English, French would be an asset
$15.00 per hour

**Must be returning to studies full time in the fall.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Delivery of our Curious Chefs program
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to establish and maintain the garden in conjunction with the volunteers.
  • Develop and deliver a small program in conjunction with the Curious Chefs program that introduces children to the joys of gardening.
  • Other tasks as required by Volunteer Coordinator/Operations Manager
  • Relief work in Community Kitchen on a part time basis

 

Requirements:

  • Must love working with children of various ages.
  • Experience leading groups of children.
  • Ability to teach/instruct both children and adults in hands-on learning environment.
  • Must have a passion for cooking and gardening.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and take initiative.
  • Trustworthy, organized, flexible and have a positive attitude.
  • Someone studying in the field of education would be an asset.

 

Please forward your resume and cover letter to Johanne Gauthier, Operations Manager at the Agapè Centre by bringing it to reception.

DEADLINE for applications:  May 27th, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Cooking and Gardening Coordinator Summer 2016printable job posting

Agape bringing CANstruction Competition to Cornwall

What can you make with 1000 cans of tomatoes, 400 cans of corn, 200 cans of tuna and 100 cans of beans? You will have to wait until April 16th to find out!

For the first time in Cornwall, teams of engineers, builders, designers, students and supporters plus more than 8,000 cans of food will converge at the Benson Centre this spring for Canstruction®.

Canstruction® is an international charity competition in which teams compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food. At the close of the competition all of the food is donated to the Agapè Centre.

We’re really excited to bring this international event to Cornwall. It’s a fun way to raise some food for the Agapè Centre, at a time of year when typically donations run low.

And we’re eager to see the creations the teams come up with.

Teams will begin building their cansculptures on Friday, April 15th and will work through the night to have their structures – which can be as large as 10 ft x 10 ft x 10 ft – ready for judging Saturday morning.

The structures and will be on public display for two weeks, beginning 8:00 a.m. on April 16 through to April 30.

We hope everyone will visit the Benson Centre to see all the cansculptures and vote for their favorite to receive the People’s Choice Award.

So far, eight teams have committed to the challenge: Bourgon Construction, St. Lawrence College, Lowe Gravelle & Associates/EFI, City of Cornwall, Professional Engineers Ontario, Rotary Interact Club, Agapè Centre, and WSP/Architecture49 Inc.

“Our group’s mission is to help the community of Cornwall in any way we can. We strongly agree that hunger is a pain no one should feel,” says Thomas Devaney, St. Lawrence College student with the CCSF team (Cornwall Community Support Force), a group of five from the Police Foundations program. “We’re quite excited about this event.”

Teams contend for a title in five categories: Structural Ingenuity, Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Jurors Favorite, and People’s Choice. The winners locally will move on to the international competition.

There is still time to register. If you can dream up a design, make a plan, fundraise cans, and assemble a group for the build, the organizing committee will make sure you have an engineer to mentor you.

Community partners include Seaway Express, Baxtrom’s Your Independent Grocer, National Grocer, and No Frills.
Canstruction® is a fun way to help our neighbors so no one goes hungry.

You CAN make a difference. One can at a time.

Canstruction® is a non-profit organization in which teams of architects, engineers, construction firms and students compete to create giant structures made entirely out of canned food. After the event all food is donated to the local food bank. Canstruction® was founded in 1992 by the Society for Design Administrators and has since raised nearly 30 million pounds of food for local communities around the world. Canstruction® is one of the largest internationally recognized food drives of its kind. For more information, visit: cornwall.canstruction.org

Walk with us: Coldest Night of the Year 2016

It’s cold out there!

On February 20th, The Agapè Centre is hosting the Coldest Night of the Year, a 2, 5 & 10 km winter walk hosted in 80+ cities across Canada in support of our work here in Cornwall with the hungry, homeless, and hurting.

GOAL: With your help, our goal is to raise $25,000 by February 20th, 2016!

HOW: To accomplish our goal, we’re looking for 20 team captains (of all shapes, sizes and ages) who will recruit 7-8 friends to their team, with a goal of raising $2000 per team. Of course, we’re also looking for a whole pile of walkers to join each of our teams and help us raise the funds.

TOQUE BONUS: Every walker who raises either $75 (youth 17 and under) or $150 (for adults) gets our famous Coldest Night toque.

For more info click here

Or contact: Alyssa Blais, Executive Director at 613-361-0332 or ablais@agapecentre.ca

Join us on Facebook!

A Holiday Thank You

The holiday season is a special time of the year for us at Agapè.

Sometimes we see people on their worst days – stressed, anxious, feeling a little hopeless and unsure of how they are going to make ends meet and get food on their table for themselves or their families.

Some moments it’s hard to see so many people right here in our community in need of a little help.

But we also get to see the best side of people: in their generosity and gratitude.

We are grateful for all of the ways that people support our services, and the thousands we help to feed every month.

Thank you for your time. Volunteers play a huge role in the delivery of our services. Thank you to our more than 80 regular volunteers, and also to those who help out over the holidays in our food bank and soup kitchen.

Thank you for your food donations. We are grateful for everyone who organized a food drive on our behalf. Many even called to ask us what we need most and collected those items specifically. Our shelves are full, and the food is still rolling in today. It’s been so wonderful to see so many fresh donations, too, like turkey, meat, and produce. This will help us throughout the winter months.

Thank you for your monetary donations. Because we buy in bulk and have the support of local grocers, we can multiply every dollar donated. And a special thank you to anyone who donated to our building campaign. We can’t provide our services without having a place to do so. Now, with our renovations complete, we have a safe, accessible, welcoming and dignified space.

Thank you for the gently used clothing, toys, household items, books and more. Your donations help keep our store stocked with incredible items, and allow us to give tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothes away for free to people who need it. The revenue from the store directly supports our services.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. We’ve been through a lot of changes this year, so that we can provide the best food and services as possible. The community’s support means a lot to us.

It’s so heart-warming to see the many ways that people give, and we appreciate every amount given to us.

We can assure all of our donors that what you’re doing matters – the people you are helping are always leaving here saying thank you. On a daily basis we hear: “Thank you for the delicious meal” and “Thank you for the groceries” and “Thank you for helping me” and “Thank you for listening”.

But we know we couldn’t do what we do without all of you.

From all of us at the Agapè Centre, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

SLC Students host apple drive for Agapè

Bushel or bag, hand-picked or store bought – it’s all welcome.

On Wednesday November 4, students from St. Lawrence College will be collecting apple donations at Pommier Square (corner of Pitt and Second streets) from 12pm to 5pm.

Students from the school’s Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program have organized the event as part of their field placement.

“It’s important to help the food bank give out fresh food,” said Alexandra Levac, SLC student helping with the project.

CICE is a two year certificate designed for adults who wish to further their educational/ vocational training in a community setting. This is the first year CICE is offered at the college’s Cornwall campus. A fundamental aspect of the program is community placement.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for our students to further develop and practice workplace skills while at the same time raising awareness and empathy for others,” said Victoria Workman, professor at St. Lawrence College.

And we are thrilled to partner with the college for the food-raising event.

People love getting fresh treats like apples in their food bags. We won’t have any problem using up all of the fruit donated – either giving them away in grocery bags, or processing them to use in the soup kitchen.

Thank you Andre Pommier for letting us use Pommier Square!

RBC Donates $10,000 to the Agapè Centre

Thank you to Cornwall’s RBC Financial Group for the $10,000 cheque. Donations like this help us feed thousands in our community. These funds will purchase food for both the soup kitchen and food bank.

Read more here.

“Sheldon and Friends” launch their annual food drive campaign

Sheldon Veenstra and his food-raising friends have a new goal in sight: 7,500 cans collected for the Agapè Centre.

This amazing young person has organized food drives every fall for our food bank. Last year his team surpassed their goal of 6,500 cans, and we have no doubts that they’ll reach their goal this year.

Sheldon is leaving for University soon, but that isn’t stopping him. He’s trained a new group to take over for him. And they spent at day at centre, volunteering in the soup kitchen and food bank to see where their food donations go, and who they are helping.

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As if that wasn’t enough, Sheldon dropped off a load of fresh, local produce for the food bank. There was kale, tomatoes, apples, carrots, beans, onions, celery, watermelon,and lettuce.

The food drive is off to a great start!

Sheldon1_Aug 31_2015

Thank you to the “Sheldon & Friends Food Drive / La campagne de Sheldon” group. It’s energizing to see young people who care about those in need right here in our community.

Like the group and support their efforts here.

To read more click here
and here.