A Good News Story About CollaborationPosted October 18, 2017 by Diana Sterenberg
About three years ago a small group of folks involved in food security – Chalmers, Hope House, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition and Salvation Army – began meeting to brainstorm how we might work together to improve the issue of food insecurity in Guelph. At that time, the SEED was being created.
The SEED is a community food project of the Guelph Community Health Centre. With Trillium funding, the SEED’s mission is to “use the power of food to build healthy communities and address the underlying issues of food insecurity and poverty in Guelph”.
Members of SEED began attending our little meetings and over time and through broader consultation, the idea of a fresh produce storage and distribution system was born – the POD.
The distribution system has been up and running for about a year. With Trillium funding, the SEED was able to lease a truck which goes to the food terminal in Mississauga, picks up quantities of vegetables and fruit and distributes to agencies which include CCSC. Sarah Dermer, our Volunteer and Programme Coordinator, places weekly orders for Downtown and West which are delivered on Tuesdays. The service, to quote Sarah has been ‘wonderful’. Cost savings to date have been fairly modest but the POD is looking to scale up local donations as opposed to purchases in order to pass on more produce at reduced prices. Other potential ideas to expand the service are also being explored.
Which brings us to the storage part. On 27th September the POD held the grand opening of its new refrigerated unit – a 300 sq. ft. space which is capable of housing multiple pallets of produce. The event was a wonderful celebration with attendees from council, local government organizations, agencies which are helping combat food insecurity and many others.
The power of collaboration was very evident on that day. From that shared idea three years ago to the establishment of an integrated food distribution and storage system, the Guelph community has come together to help make our city a little more equitable.
For CCSC, the significance of the SEED/POD goes beyond the sourcing of healthy food. It demonstrates and reinforces our commitment to the value of community relationships and to our goal of innovative thinking in how we tackle food insecurity.
– Peter Gill
Comment by Vanessa Hyland -October 24, 2017 @ 1:09 pm
This is a great collaboration. Your new newsletter format is terrific too.
Comment by Gail Bartlett -October 26, 2017 @ 12:09 pm
Great work, everyone. Very inspiring