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.” In addition to generating income for North House’s programs, this social enterprise benefits clients who receive training under a professional caterer and earn certificates that can be applied in any food service industry. They also learn life skills through culinary arts training such as time management, problem solving and organizational skills. Job coaching and support is on-going to ensure employment success.

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