Community Development

Funding level: Up to $50,000

Description

RIVERSYDE 83: Sharing the Harvest – Building Community

Church Out Serving is a faith-based charity with plans to renovate and repurpose the former LCBO in downtown Simcoe, Ontario into a community space, where food, friends, wellness and local converge.

For over eight years, our aim has been to link local resources with need, improving physical, emotional and spiritual health for people living in our community.

We are located in the heart of Norfolk County, which is known as Ontario’s Garden and Canada’s most agriculturally diverse region. Norfolk has an abundance of fresh local produce, so no one here should ever go hungry. Yet 1 in 10 men, women and children are food insecure. At the same time, an estimated $43 million worth of produce is wasted at farms as a result of some unmarketable factor! Also, rural unemployment is a significant concern in our community.

What are we doing about it?

We currently run a variety of food programs feeding thousands. All programs are free and coordinated by a pool of over 300 volunteers at offsite borrowed kitchen facilities. In 2017 (year to date), our programs have served:

• 442 healthy frozen meals to individuals and families living in Norfolk’s emergency temporary housing
• 1200 hot dinners at our Monday night community meals, and
• over 4600 vegetable servings to local food banks, soup kitchens and community meal programs, harvested from our 14 community garden beds in 3 locations

But we want to do MORE and we need our own facility to do it ….

Our recently purchased 7800 square foot building will become a welcoming community space, a place to meet friends for coffee or a meal, take a food skills workshop, receive employment training or pay-it-forward to someone else less fortunate.
Renovation plans include building and equipping a commercial kitchen, a café and marketplace.

Completion of this project will equip us with the ability to:

• Expand our charity meal preparation and offer a serving facility;
• Establish a teaching centre for culinary arts and food skills programs;
• Develop a catering enterprise to assist those with employment barriers; and
• Offer the community a new “pay it forward” Café.

YOUR vote can help make this happen.

Aviva funds will be used to help build the commercial kitchen, covering the cost of necessary venting and hoods, for exhaust, air exchange and fire suppression systems.

It will impact our community and help change lives through:

• food skills workshops that will help more families eat healthy on a budget
• the use of donated surplus produce that will reduce local food waste
• pay-it-forward programs that will encourage community to help one another
• the gathering of people together reducing social isolation and loneliness
• employment training that will offer at risk youth, those on social assistance, or others
who need help to (re)enter the workforce.

We are working with local growers, churches, community builders and partners, bringing people together to serve and be served.

Join us in making this vision a reality!






Broker supported
MORISON INSURANCE BROKERS INC.
Top ranked
PROGRAMMED INSURANCE BROKERS

The Gathering Food Centre

Location: Simcoe

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