*[Image Goes Here]* Obtaining fresh produce can be a challenge for some people. As a result, they may have food security issues. What is food security? People have food security when they can get enough food to eat that is safe, that they like to eat and that helps them to be healthy. They must be able to obtain food in ways that help them feel good about themselves and their families.
The Thunder Bay Food Action Network (FAN) is a coalition of community members, agencies and organizations committed to improving food security in Thunder Bay. FAN has organized three programs that enable people to obtain fresh produce. These programs are: Plant a Row-Grow a Row, Community Gardens and Gleaning.
Plant a Row-Grow a Row is a way for those in the community to make a difference just by working in their gardens. This program encourages gardeners to grow an extra row of vegetables and donate extra produce to food banks, shelters and soup kitchens. “Fresh food is hard to come by at the food bank, and our clients really appreciate the home grown vegetables we get during the summer!” says Jeannine Baxter, Thunder Bay Food Bank volunteer.
Community gardening involves neighbours planning and growing a garden together on shared land. Currently Thunder Bay has five community gardens throughout the city. The benefits of these gardens are numerous including making new friends while harvesting and sharing fresh produce. This year FAN will be holding their 3rd annual community garden tour and barbeque on August 12th, everyone is welcome.
Gleaning is the traditional practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields & ploughed under. With the help of generous local farmers and community volunteers, people who find it a challenge to afford fresh produce can pick their own to share with friends and family. Transportation to the farms is provided along with information on how to use and store the produce.
If you have any questions about the above programs (i.e. where to drop off produce donations, starting a community garden, attending the garden tour, or participating in the gleaning program), please call the Community Nutrition Promoter at 625-8816.
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