Garden of Eatin’ Volunteers – North House

Photo by Michael Hudson [North House Garden Girls]
Photo by Michael Hudson [North House Garden Girls]

One of the greatest challenges to people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home is the lack of healthy and nutritious food to eat. I recently spoke to Ann Watson, Program Manager of North House Transitional Housing. “North House is known throughout North Durham Region as a provider of transitional housing, rent supplements and wrap-around support for people who are under-housed in Uxbridge, Brock and Scugog townships. We quickly came to realize that not only do our clients need a stable place to live, food security is also a major issue for them. In response, we’ve developed partnerships with churches and community organizations to provide healthy food options to people in need in our communities. We offer a weekly community lunch program that provides delicious home-made soups and desserts on a pay-what-you-can basis. Our Garden of Eatin’ community garden includes 12 individual plots and one community plot where we raise food for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank. We’ve also developed a social enterprise, North House Catering, which offers seasonally-inspired, healthy and home-cooked meals at an affordable price.” Continue reading “Garden of Eatin’ Volunteers – North House”

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Hajar – Flemingdon Park Ministry

Flemingdon Park - Hajar hands (800x450)

When Hajar became a Canadian citizen two years ago, the immigration judge told her that it was her job to help others. She took these words to heart and became a volunteer at Flemingdon Park Ministry. Hajar’s friend, Mary, served as a translator for our conversation. Mary explained that Hajar is learning English, slowly but surely, but still needs help and would very much like to take a conversation course. “I am thankful for all of the help that I receive from the women’s group. I would like to have a conversation class so that my English will get better.” Hajar’s faith in God gives her hope for the future. “I am happy when I am helping people. My God helps me to help the people.” Hajar has a large family here in Canada. Her wish is that they will all be together.

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Lakefield After-School Program

Lakefield After-School Program (800x598)The Lakefield After-School Program (ASP) is a partnership between St. John the Baptist, Lakefield, and Lakefield Youth Unlimited. ASP offers a safe, fun, and caring environment for youth in grades 2-8 with a focus on the educational and character development of the youth who participate. The weekly after-school program includes food time, fun time, tutoring time, and God time.

I recently asked several youth why they enjoy their time at ASP. A 6-year-old boy said, “I like playing games and the people here are nice to me.” An 8-year-old girl told me that “ASP is a lot of fun. I wish it was every day!” Another girl, aged 9, replied, “It helps me to believe in God. It teaches us about the Bible. They also help me with my homework.”

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