Cornwall’s Agapè Centre has joined 36 other organizations from across Canada to work for a healthy and fair food system, and in doing so has been named a Good Food Organization.
“We are very excited to have been selected as a Good Food Organization,” says Alyssa Blais, Executive Director of the Agapè Centre. “We have been working hard to create a culture at Agapè which places a premium on delivering healthy nutritious meals to our clients.”
Good Food Organizations are making a commitment to offering respectful, responsive, and impactful food programs in their communities as a way of decreasing hunger, building better physical and mental health, and reducing social isolation. The program has been developed by Community Food Centres Canada.
“We launched this initiative to provide support and inspiration to organizations across the country, be they health centres, food banks, or community organizations, that are doing important grassroots food work,” says Kathryn Scharf, VP National Programs for Community Food Centres Canada. “We want to amplify these voices and program outcomes to show what effects an investment in healthy food can have.”
Community Food Centres Canada is a national organization with the mandate to work with partners to develop welcoming spaces where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. People learn cooking skills and get their hands dirty in the garden – in ways that expand their taste buds and help them make healthier food choices.
Good Food Organizations will gain access to centralized resources, customized training as well as a granting stream.
The Agapè Centre has undertaken a number of initiatives to support the concept of “good food”. The Centre has created and maintains its own fresh garden, and it regularly receives donations of fresh spinach and other leafy vegetables from Smart Greens in Cornwall. It has been encouraging donations of healthy food items and wherever possible has been using fresh, organic ingredients in meal preparation.
“We’ve received over 10,000 pounds of vegetables from local farmers and gardeners this summer,” said Ms. Blais. “Marlin Orchards alone has donated thousands of pounds of apples.”
Agapè Centre staff have also been working hard to educate the community about the importance of healthy eating.
“Today, there is a lot more awareness about the benefits of making healthy food choices,” says Ms. Blais. “Good food leads to good health which creates more opportunity for personal growth.”