This is an excerpt of an email sent to Leanne Graham who coordinates the community health boards to give her and the community health boards an update of what we were working on in 2016.
In addition to SOUP and community garden projects, in the last year our community group has supported:
- a North end Halifax food box program (100 monthly boxes for the past two months and for the next two months) see CBC Square Roots article
- held monthly gleaning events with CMHA Kings clients and Acadia students
- coordinated the 160+ x-mas hampers program for the Salvation Army
- working with Acadia enactus group to start a Food sharing group in Wolfville, sharing potluck and to plan some upcoming cooking events
- held a free wood fired pizza a night in Wolfville
- spent a lot of time meeting and presenting with all potential partners
In the past 6 months, our community group has:
- met with Barry from Mudcreek Rotary Club asked me to help him plan a Community Gardens focused conference and I’m needing to pull all the relevant health players fairly quickly.
- Duncan met with Cary from Horizon’s about expanding programming of the Canning Food Bank. The results was a presentation and brainstorming session that Duncan did at the Canning Food Bank. We are excited to see where a partnership could lead to here.
- A couple of weeks ago I also met with the Kentville Food Bank to learn about their processes
- We held three community meetings/focus groups in Kentvile and one in New Minas to gather feedback, assets, and resources with members of the community
- We presented at a Valley Community Learning Association meeting and participated in two asset mapping/resource meetings hosted by the Salvation Army Church of Kentville
Everyone is telling a similar story of wanting to diversify mental health and food security initiatives with limited resources (space in some cases, money, and overworked volunteers), having difficulty making these initiatives sustainable/embedded in the community, and having limited success at achieving healthy food behaviour modification (often this is because of regularity, how it’s promoted, poor design). Our vision and plan is to start a social enterprise that supports these activities in a coordinated way in Kings County.
You can find the vision for what we want to do here