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Curious Chefs Returns

The rumours are true: “Curious Chefs: Cooking Club for Kids” is back! This summer’s “sold out” program is returning for two more sessions starting this month, thanks to a generous donation from the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise.

The 5-week cooking class teaches healthy eating on a budget, and focuses on kitchen safety, healthy school snacks and lunches, portion size, the four major food groups, food labels, and of course, lots of cooking and eating.

Each session, the budding chefs will make an entrée and dessert, with enough to bring home leftovers. The program offers many creative activities and learning opportunities, like a little “Fear Factor” every week.

Youth between the ages of 10-16 can participate FREE OF CHARGE, and will receive a kitchen starter kit (including a rice cooker) to take home at the end of the program.

The first session begins Tuesday February 24th from 4:00-6:30pm.

To register visit us in person at the Agape Centre (40 Fifth Street West) or call Louise at the reception desk 613-938-9297 ext. 26

Click here for more information

Check out some photos of our budding chefs from the programs this past summer:

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Reflections of a placement student

By: Kylee LeClair
Two years ago, I worked with the Agapè Centre for my grade 12 co-operative education, and was exposed to how hunger truly affects our community. It opened my eyes to what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was at a loss for what to do after high school, when my teacher suggested looking into becoming a social service worker. A spark arose in me and I was able to make sense of how I could apply my passion for helping others to my life.

I chose to do my college field placement this fall again with the Agapè Centre because it was where it all started for me. I want to share that experience, because I think it will help people to see another side of the agency.

The clientele they deal with is primarily those who I truly feel need the help. Poverty is a huge social issue and has impacted a lot of lives in Cornwall. The center provides basic needs like food and clothing to the community, which are much needed. Poverty and hunger can be a struggle in a person’s life, and they may feel ashamed of this. The centre provides them with a friendly support, where they can come and feel as though life is not so bad.

I spent 3 days a week for 4 months at the Agapè Centre, and I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of different clients and hear their stories.

The most significant moment that has stuck with me happened one day while working in the soup kitchen. I had grabbed the client’s meal ticket and gave her a friendly hello. She responded by saying “thank you.” As I proceeded to ask her why, she explained to me the importance of the soup kitchen in her life. She said: “Without this place, I would not be able to eat a full meal a day. The meals that Jayne (the head cook) prepares for us never fail me. They are always nutritious and very filling. I would starve without this kitchen, and for that, I thank you.” This moment will forever be with me. It really gave me a sense of joy that we were able to provide this woman with such happiness over a plate of food.

I’ve also had the chance to work in all departments of the centre – the soup kitchen, food bank, client services, thrift store, sorting, etc – and have learned how it functions together. Each different area is essential for the whole to flow well.

For example, did you know the money the thrift shop makes is fed into the soup kitchen and the food bank? If it weren’t for the community’s support by shopping in the store, there would be a lack of funding for the other services.

Working in the back sorting area allowed me to see the process of how they decide what stuff is in good shape for the store and what is not. The work almost seems endless, but the ladies in the back are very welcoming, and do an excellent job at working through the donations and getting the store stocked.

I really liked working in the reception desk and being the front line person. Everyone comes there – clients, volunteers, staff, donors – and I got to meet so many people. I liked talking with donors about why they give to the centre. I got to see a different side.

I was involved with the daily services, but I also got to take on some interesting projects of my own. I was given the opportunity to write a client survey for the food bank with my supervisor. We wanted to know how we can best serve the clients, so we brainstormed what questions needed to be asked. I created the survey and met with clients as they came in for their food bank appointments. Next semester I will get to analyze the results and recommend changes. It’s something the clients appreciated because sometimes they don’t feel like their voices are being heard, and this was an opportunity for them to give input. It was empowering.

I also worked at creating a mini cookbook that we hope will be provided in the food bank with each order, if the demand is present. It will have recipes for the basic items clients get in the food bank, the food guide, and a chart of the best seasons to buy fruits and vegetables. This booklet could be an asset to the clients because it contains the basic information about easy ways to eat healthy and cook on a small budget.

During my time at Agapè I have had endless encounters with the clients about the appreciation they have for the centre. There has not been a day where I have not heard “thank you, I really appreciate the help.” For this reason, I will always give my support to the Agapè Centre.

I could not be happier with my choice for field placement. It has assured me that this is the right area to be seeking a career in. I was losing my spark at the start of my second year, but being back in the place that opened my eyes to my passion of helping others reignited the spark.

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to help the community. I have developed a drive to make a positive impact in the client’s lives, and I gained the skills necessary. I sincerely love what I am doing.

I look forward to continuing with the Agapè Centre for my second semester, and I’m excited about the new learning experiences I will encounter.

Kylee kitchenKyleedesk

 

 

Help us deliver baskets of hope and joy!

For more than 40 years, the Agapè Centre has helped to provide families and individuals with baskets of hope and joy during the holiday season.

This year, approximately 1300 baskets will be handed out on Thursday December 18th by the Children’s Christmas Fund – which is comprised of various service groups, including the Agapè Centre and the Salvation Army of Cornwall.

Needless to say, it is a daunting task.

The Agapè Centre would like to invite you, your family and co-workers to volunteer at the Christmas Basket event. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help provide the less fortunate of our neighborhoods with a gift of good will and for children to participate in an event that is all about giving and community.

Volunteers can choose to come for either the morning, or the afternoon, or the evening. Meals and coffee will be provided.

If interested, please contact Kendra, our volunteer coordinator at volunteercoordinator@agapecentre.ca or 613-938-9297 ext. 21.

AGAPE FRUIT FOREST CONTINUES TO GROW

The funding from Tree Canada finally took root, as volunteers and staff planted 40 more trees on Thursday, October 30.  The initiative is supported by a grant from the Edible Trees program, which provides grants of up to $4,000 to municipalities, schools, and community gardens to purchase, plant, and maintain fruit and nut trees.

“The trees planted will become valuable sources of healthy food for these communities,” said Michael Rosen, Tree Canada President.

The Agapè Centre added more variety to their young fruit forest with two more kinds of apples and plums on the property of Fountaingate Christian Assembly, and they’re not stopping there. They’ll be planting over 100 more fruit trees in the spring, believing that good food has the power to build healthy communities.

A team of six volunteers from Canada World Youth, a group of 17 young adults from across Vietnam and Canada who are spending two months volunteering in Cornwall, joined two Agapè Centre staff members to help with the planting process.

Ha Luong, a 21 year-old Vietnamese youth in Canada with the exchange program, has been involved with similar projects in his home country, and sees the importance of an organization like a food bank or soup kitchen growing their own food.

“With other volunteers, we had great time there digging and planting several kinds of trees,” he said. “But besides fun, it is not only about some more trees appearing in this area, but also about raising public awareness about the food supply, and later get involved in Agape’s activities to help local residents.”

The low-maintenance trees, grown specifically to thrive pesticide-free in the Canadian climate, will bear fruit within the next three to five years, and will provide fresh, local and organically grown food for those in our community who are living on low incomes and rely on the Agapè Centre.

“We greatly appreciate the support from Tree Canada and the young people who volunteered in the garden,” said Alyssa Blais, executive director for the Agapè Centre. “Without their help, we would not be able to have planted all these trees.”

Last fall, the charity that feeds over 200 people a day planted 100 dwarf apple and pear trees, as well as 100 seedless grape vines, with the generous donation from Medical Arts Pharmacy.

 

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Look at how much the trees planted last fall have grown!

Look at how much the trees planted last fall have grown!

Contract P/T Job Position: Bookkeeper at Agapè Centre

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 bookkeeper 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:  October 3rd, 2014 at 4:00 PM

4 Million Food ITEMS

This year the Agapè Centre proudly recognizes our 43 years of service as the largest hunger relief organization serving Cornwall and the Counties. One way we measure our success is by pounds of nutritious food distributed to hungry people, however the weight of gratitude felt by our clients is immeasurable.

Working together, we can transform hunger into hope!
Over the past four decades, we have distributed more than 4 million fooditems. Instead of looking back on our accomplishments, we’re looking ahead toward the next 20 years of hunger relief for our community. We know that there is much to do to fight hunger in our communities we serve. Our long range goals include offering healthier nutritious food items, starting a community kitchen for families and children and continuously looking at social enterprise as one of our sustainable revenue generators.

This will allow us to serve more low-income children, families and older adults who don’t have access to nutritious food. As we look to the next twenty years we are excited to embrace our responsibility as the hunger resource and healthiest community food centre for Cornwall and the Counties. With the help of our family of supporters, we can break the cycle of hunger and impact the lives of literally thousands of people each year. What better investment can you think of than the return of hope, health and productivity to our communities? On behalf of the Agapè Centre and those we serve, thank you for your support and strength.

*New* Contract at the Agapè Centre – Janitorial Work

Contract Position Available Effective September 26, 2014:              

 Janitorial work (includes cleaning and light maintenance work)

If you are interested for more information, contact Johanne Gauthier, Operations Manager, for the description of the work at operationsmanager@agapecentre.ca or by phone at extension 27. 

The deadline to apply is September 12th, 2014. 

Around the Table

Welcome to Agapè’s newest program “Around the Table: Healthy eating on a budget”. This program is designed to get the entire family planning and cooking together, while focusing on creating healthy meals at a low cost. Some of the areas in which we will touch upon are: Basic foods on the shelf, budget friendly items in each food group, how to read a recipe, planning with the family, healthy tips to eliminate sugar/salt from your diet, how to talk to children about healthy eating, how to save money on your groceries, and finish with a grocery store tour and challenge.  Again this program is FREE of charge for the entire family and they too will also go home with a starter kit at the end of the 5 weeks.

GET MORE INFORMATION HERE

Amateur Boxing Fundraiser

Chris Nilan, one of hockey’s most feared enforcers to speak at Agapè’s Amateur Boxing Fundraiser.

JUNE 14th at NAV Centre

Chris Nilan, who grew up in the tough and gritty Irish enclave in Boston, was a feared enforcer for the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, and a Stanley Cup champion never afraid to go into the corners or take off his gloves. This legend will be the special guest this year at  Agapè’s Charity Boxing Event June 14th.

This hard hitting fundraiser held at the NAV Centre will benefit the Agapè Centre to help knock out the effects of hunger for the families and children of Cornwall. An interesting twist, Quebec boxers will be duking it out against Ontario boxers in the ring on Saturday, June 14th.

Cornwall’s own Tony Luis, Quebec Boxing Council Lightweight Champion will provide commentary during this high energy charity event and Councillor Dave Murphy will lend his voice as emcee.

For more information on the event benefitting families in Cornwall or tickets, please call Alyssa Blais at the Agapè Centre at 613.361.0332.

Tickets are available at SCOTIABANK, Brookdale Cornwall for $200.00 a piece and includes a full-course dinner, 6 rounds of amateur boxing, drinks and entertainment.

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Two new job postings at the Agapè Centre

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

The position description of Reception can be found HERE

The position description of Student IT Technician can be found HERE

Please forward your resume and cover letter to Johanne Gauthier, Operations Manager at the Agapè Centre by email ONLY.  The e-mail address is:  accounts@agapecentre.ca