Community Food Centres Canada helps to open a new food centre in Regent Park

News Feb 14, 2014 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Set to open this spring, the CRC (Christian Resource Centre) Community Food Centre in Regent Park will build on the foundation of nutrition and gardening programs already established in the neighbourhood, according to manager Liz Curran.

The CRC had help from Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), which provides resources to partner organizations across the country to create a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.

“They saw a natural fit between CRC’s work and the value and principles of the food centre model helping Regent Park residents meet their basic food needs,” said Curran. “CRC has also been involved in establishing allotment gardens at Regent Park. It seemed like a nice fit because community gardening is a component of community food centres.”

Over the past three years, there’s been much consultation with the community. One of the priorities for the food centre identified by residents is to see an increase in nutrition in the community meal program, one that attracts as many as 150 people for breakfast and lunch five days a week.

There is a real interest and need for people to learn more food preparation skills, said Curran.

“We surveyed our meal program participants and identified an interest in learning how to cook. This is a barrier when you’re living on a tight budget,” she said.

Regent Park has launched a new supper program during which residents are involved in preparing the meal – this provides a social component to the program as well as a peer advocacy program in which residents are given the basic tools as to how to help one another.

ABOUT THE CFCC

CFCC, whose head office is situated in the Junction Triangle, near Lansdowne Avenue and Bloor Street West, began as a pilot project in 2012 inspired by The Stop Community Food Centre’s model. President and CEO Nick Saul was the executive director at The Stop from 1998 to 2012.

Every year, CFCC selects as many as three new partners to establish “responsive and financially stable” community food centres in their respective neighbourhoods.

“We get lots of inquiries from organizations from across the country,” said CFCC director of communications Christina Palassio. “We also do our own research and pro-actively seek out partners.”

There are several factors the CFCC takes into consideration before partnering with an organization. First, said Palassio, is there a need in the community for these types of programming? Also, is there already a space available? For example, in Stratford, Ont., a community food centre took over an abandoned gardening centre. Establishing the food centre in Stratford took more than a year because extensive renovations were needed. In Regent Park, the neighbourhood already has a kitchen so renovating was not necessary, said Palassio. Each partnership is different.

Meanwhile, CFCC works with the broader food movement to empower communities to achieve a healthy and fair food system.

‘Good food is just the beginning,’ is its philosophy.

For further details, visit cfccanada.ca

Community Food Centres Canada helps to open a new food centre in Regent Park

Centre will build upon already-established nutrition and gardening programs

News Feb 14, 2014 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Set to open this spring, the CRC (Christian Resource Centre) Community Food Centre in Regent Park will build on the foundation of nutrition and gardening programs already established in the neighbourhood, according to manager Liz Curran.

The CRC had help from Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), which provides resources to partner organizations across the country to create a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.

“They saw a natural fit between CRC’s work and the value and principles of the food centre model helping Regent Park residents meet their basic food needs,” said Curran. “CRC has also been involved in establishing allotment gardens at Regent Park. It seemed like a nice fit because community gardening is a component of community food centres.”

Over the past three years, there’s been much consultation with the community. One of the priorities for the food centre identified by residents is to see an increase in nutrition in the community meal program, one that attracts as many as 150 people for breakfast and lunch five days a week.

There is a real interest and need for people to learn more food preparation skills, said Curran.

“We surveyed our meal program participants and identified an interest in learning how to cook. This is a barrier when you’re living on a tight budget,” she said.

Regent Park has launched a new supper program during which residents are involved in preparing the meal – this provides a social component to the program as well as a peer advocacy program in which residents are given the basic tools as to how to help one another.

ABOUT THE CFCC

CFCC, whose head office is situated in the Junction Triangle, near Lansdowne Avenue and Bloor Street West, began as a pilot project in 2012 inspired by The Stop Community Food Centre’s model. President and CEO Nick Saul was the executive director at The Stop from 1998 to 2012.

Every year, CFCC selects as many as three new partners to establish “responsive and financially stable” community food centres in their respective neighbourhoods.

“We get lots of inquiries from organizations from across the country,” said CFCC director of communications Christina Palassio. “We also do our own research and pro-actively seek out partners.”

There are several factors the CFCC takes into consideration before partnering with an organization. First, said Palassio, is there a need in the community for these types of programming? Also, is there already a space available? For example, in Stratford, Ont., a community food centre took over an abandoned gardening centre. Establishing the food centre in Stratford took more than a year because extensive renovations were needed. In Regent Park, the neighbourhood already has a kitchen so renovating was not necessary, said Palassio. Each partnership is different.

Meanwhile, CFCC works with the broader food movement to empower communities to achieve a healthy and fair food system.

‘Good food is just the beginning,’ is its philosophy.

For further details, visit cfccanada.ca

Community Food Centres Canada helps to open a new food centre in Regent Park

Centre will build upon already-established nutrition and gardening programs

News Feb 14, 2014 by Lisa Rainford Bloor West Villager

Set to open this spring, the CRC (Christian Resource Centre) Community Food Centre in Regent Park will build on the foundation of nutrition and gardening programs already established in the neighbourhood, according to manager Liz Curran.

The CRC had help from Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), which provides resources to partner organizations across the country to create a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.

“They saw a natural fit between CRC’s work and the value and principles of the food centre model helping Regent Park residents meet their basic food needs,” said Curran. “CRC has also been involved in establishing allotment gardens at Regent Park. It seemed like a nice fit because community gardening is a component of community food centres.”

Over the past three years, there’s been much consultation with the community. One of the priorities for the food centre identified by residents is to see an increase in nutrition in the community meal program, one that attracts as many as 150 people for breakfast and lunch five days a week.

There is a real interest and need for people to learn more food preparation skills, said Curran.

“We surveyed our meal program participants and identified an interest in learning how to cook. This is a barrier when you’re living on a tight budget,” she said.

Regent Park has launched a new supper program during which residents are involved in preparing the meal – this provides a social component to the program as well as a peer advocacy program in which residents are given the basic tools as to how to help one another.

ABOUT THE CFCC

CFCC, whose head office is situated in the Junction Triangle, near Lansdowne Avenue and Bloor Street West, began as a pilot project in 2012 inspired by The Stop Community Food Centre’s model. President and CEO Nick Saul was the executive director at The Stop from 1998 to 2012.

Every year, CFCC selects as many as three new partners to establish “responsive and financially stable” community food centres in their respective neighbourhoods.

“We get lots of inquiries from organizations from across the country,” said CFCC director of communications Christina Palassio. “We also do our own research and pro-actively seek out partners.”

There are several factors the CFCC takes into consideration before partnering with an organization. First, said Palassio, is there a need in the community for these types of programming? Also, is there already a space available? For example, in Stratford, Ont., a community food centre took over an abandoned gardening centre. Establishing the food centre in Stratford took more than a year because extensive renovations were needed. In Regent Park, the neighbourhood already has a kitchen so renovating was not necessary, said Palassio. Each partnership is different.

Meanwhile, CFCC works with the broader food movement to empower communities to achieve a healthy and fair food system.

‘Good food is just the beginning,’ is its philosophy.

For further details, visit cfccanada.ca