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Plant a Row – Grow a Row

Planning on growing a garden this spring? You can help the Agape Centre give people in need healthy, fresh produce by joining the Plant a Row – Grow a Row program.

This food sharing initiative encourages local gardeners to devote space in their personal gardens for growing vegetables to donate to the community food bank.

“Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and we are continually seeking ways to provide these important staples to our clients,” said Alyssa Blais, executive director of the Agape Centre.

Plant a Row – Grow a Row began in Winnipeg in the 80’s, when a local family donated their surplus of potatoes to the local food bank. Soon, many other gardeners in Winnipeg were donating their surplus vegetables as well, and the idea spread throughout North America. Today, the program has taken off from coast to coast, including a strong presence in Edmonton, London, and throughout Quebec, where it is called the Un rang pour ceux qui ont faim initiative.

Of course, the biggest contributor to the success of the program in any community is the efforts of the thoughtful people who grow and donate food to those in need. Participants in the Plant a Row – Grow a Row initiative take on the fun, challenging, and ultimately rewarding task of supporting members of the community.

At the Agapé Centre food bank, we encourage you to become a part of our Plant a Row – Grow a Row program. Together with the Weeding Out Hunger garden, this initiative presents a huge opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of other people.

Join our growing number of contributors to this exciting program. We will provide free seeds and resources to anyone willing to donate their time and effort.

For more information or to sign-up, contact Kendra Smith by phone at 613-938-9297 ext. 21 or by email at


The Agapè Centre is pleased to accept a donation of $1,400 from the John Stewart Estate Memorial Trust.

The Advisory Board of the John Stewart Estate Memorial Trust recently granted a total of $8,785.07 for 2015 to agencies servicing the needs of the aged and poor in the City of Cornwall and the United Counties.

Of the 12 grants, ranging in size from $500.00 to $1,400, the Agapè Center was the chosen recipient for the City of Cornwall.

The John Stewart Home, once located at 613 Second Street East in Cornwall, was opened in 1930 as a modest facility to provide housing for poor and indigent persons. To date over $210,174.30 in income has been distributed to appropriate agencies. Representatives from the United Counties and the City of Cornwall constitute the Advisory Board, with the Minister of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Cornwall sitting as a permanent member to acknowledge the religious heritage of the original donor, Mr. John Stewart. This year is the 110th anniversary of his death. The Estate continues to be administered by Scotia Private Client Group.

Agapè Centre receives $820 from Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation

Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation

The Agapè Centre has received a wonderful donation of $820 to purchase food from the Ontario REALTORS Care Foundation through an endorsement from the Cornwall and District Real Estate Board. Alyssa Blais, executive director of the Agapè Centre states, “This donation will go towards purchasing the eggs, milk and cereal that is much needed in our food bank. I am thankful for the support and appreciate that the Cornwall and District Real Estate Board thought of the Agapè Centre.”
Joy Morin, client services manager of the Agapè Centre comments, “This gift will provide a boost in the food bank. We thank the Board for their support.”

Celebrating with our Volunteers at the annual Christmas Party

It’s the most wonderful time of year, and once again we had the pleasure of celebrating the holidays with our most wonderful volunteers.

The centre’s staff prepared and served up a delicious traditional Christmas meal to the many generous and dedicated volunteers. They give so much of themselves in service to the centre, that it’s nice to be able to give something back and have some fun together.

With over 100 active volunteers, there’s certainly a lot to celebrate!

The Agapè Centre has volunteers in so many different capacities, and at this, our busiest time of year, we are especially grateful for all that they do:

  • Soup kitchen volunteers help feed a hot and nutritious more than 100 people in the community daily.
  • Food bank volunteers distribute food to about 30 families of various sizes every weekday.
  • Sorting centre volunteers help keep the store stocked with great items
  • Thrift store volunteers keep our customers coming back and supporting us. Sales have been AMAZING! And that is largely in part because of our incredible volunteers in both the sorting centre and thrift store
  • Food sorting volunteers organize the thousands of donated food items that come in to the centre, so we can get that food to people in need.
  • Christmas basket registration volunteers are working to register close to 1,300 families for their Christmas basket.
  • Placement students help in all of the areas of the centre, and take part in specialized projects – like creating, conducting, and analyzing a client food bank survey.
  • Board Members are volunteers too! And they help to guide the direction of the organization.
  • Building Campaign team volunteers are out in the community working to raise the much needed funds to repair the building so we can continue to feed people.

Thank you to all those who came out on November 26 to celebrate with us. And to all those who were unable to attend – we missed you!


The volunteers enjoying the delightful feast and each other’s company


Volunteers Anne Alguire and Sheila Fraser have some fun with the photo booth

Visit our Facebook page to check out more of the photo booth fun we had with our incredible volunteers:

Canada World Youth goes Trick-or-Eating

Thank you to the Canada World Youth (CWY) group that collected five shopping carts full of non-perishables for the food bank on Halloween.

The group of 17 young adults from across Canada and Vietnam spent September and October in Vietnam hosting educational workshops and events.  Now they’re in Cornwall spending the next 2 months volunteering with various community agencies, including the Agape Centre.

On Friday October 31st, instead of just trick-or-treating for the Canadian Halloween experience, the group donned their best costumes and went door-to-door  in the Riverdale neighbourhood, collecting nutritious food for the hungry of our community.

BDO food drive boasts a big haul

As part of their National Drive Away Hunger Campaign, Cornwall’s BDO office hosted a food drive for the Agape Centre at Baxtrom’s Your Independent Grocer On Saturday, October 11.

They raised an impressive $1,400 in cash, along with 975 lbs of potatoes and 724 lbs of dry goods. That’s a total of 1,700 lbs of food!

The company’s national goal was to raise 500,000 lbs of food.

We are very grateful to Krystle Mitrow and the BDO Cornwall team for helping us feed community members in need. The potatoes have already been happily received by many families and individuals, and the non-perishable food was added to the food bank shelves.

If you or your organization is interested in hosting a food drive, please take a look at our resources online, or contact Joy Morin at 613-938-9297 ext. 28.


GLAM Swap and Wine & Cheese

Come and relax, mingle, get pampered and SWAP clothes, shoes and accessories you no longer need or wear. Added BONUS: Local Firemen will be serving our guests all night long!!

The Agapè Centre and SASS (Sexual Assault Support Services) are putting on a Glam SWAP event for women ONLY.

Click HERE for more details.

Join Us For An Open House


On August 27th, staff and volunteers at the Agapè Centre wants to welcome visitors to learn all about the programs and services offered at the Centre during their Open House.

Staff will be available from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm to answer questions and provide 20 minute tours of the whole building. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. The Thrift store will be privately opened for visitors to shop.

The Open House takes place Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Agapè Centre, 40 Fifth Street West, Cornwall. It is free and open to the public.

RSVP is required to Kendra Smith, by phone at 613.938.9297 x:21 or by email:

Job Opening – Head Cashier

The Agapè Centre is a community-minded non-profit organization dedicated to feeding and clothing people in need. We are looking for one person who is committed to our values and thrives on a changing environment.

The position description for a head cashier can be found HERE

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

DEADLINE for applications: July 25th, 2014 at 4:00 PM


Agapè receives $4,000 for its fruit forest

New fruit forest planted on Mohawk Drive

Tree Canada is proud to announce its 20 winners for the third installment of its very popular Edible Trees program.

Supported by Loblaw, Silk, and TELUS, Edible Trees provides grants of up to $4,000 to municipalities, schools, and community gardens to purchase, plant, and maintain fruit and nut trees.

“Fruit and nut trees do more than just clean the air and beautify our neighbourhoods,” said Michael Rosen, Tree Canada President. “The trees planted will become valuable sources of healthy food for these communities.”

“At Silk we believe plant-based nutrition is a better, more sustainable way to feed people and the planet,” said Valerie Fleck, Vice President of Whitewave Foods in Canada. “The Edible Trees program fits perfectly with our mission and we are thrilled 20 communities can benefit in 2014.”

The increasing popularity of this program can be seen by the substantial applications that were sent to Tree Canada, of which the following 20 community groups were selected:

  • Alliance Alimentaire Papineau, Saint-André-Avellin, QC
  • Conseil régional de l’environnement (CRE) Mauricie, Mauricie, QC
  • Les amis de la montagne, Montréal, QC
  • Ville en Vert, Montréal, QC
  • Au coin de ma rue, une forêt qui nourrit, Québec, QC
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan, Okanagan, BC
  • Township of Langley, Langley, BC
  • The Valley Permaculture Guild, Chilliwack, BC
  • Immigrant Integration Farming Co-op, Winnipeg, MB
  • Healthy Communities Association of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB
  • Town of High Level, High Level, AB
  • Green Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • Nourish and Develop Foundation, Cannington, ON
  • Niagara College Sustainability Committee, Niagara Falls, ON
  • Township of Russell, Russell, ON
  • Roots to Harvest, Thunder Bay, ON
  • Centre Agapè Centre, Cornwall, ON
  • Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Halifax, NS
  • Community Forests International, Sackville, NB
  • Town of Stratford, Stratford, PEI
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