on January 22, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, January, Print Articles, Comments Off on Web-extra (January 22, 2015): Movin’ On Up; Parkdale Food Centre Gets A New Home.

Web-extra (January 22, 2015): Movin’ On Up; Parkdale Food Centre Gets A New Home.

Web-extra (January 22, 2015): Movin’ On Up;
Parkdale Food Centre Gets A New Home.

By Anne Duggan.

Just like food is always more than just food, according to Parkdale Food Centre (PFC) manager Karen Secord, so the centre is now much more than a food bank.

The more than 100 people who attended the PFC’s grand opening in it’s new Rosemount Ave. location on January 12, discovered gold walls adorned with rustic barn board and a welcoming kitchen where everyone is invited to share knowledge and food.

The project of preparing the PFC’s new space below the Somerset West Community Health Centre along with moving the food bank without affecting it’s operation hours or services during the busy month of December can be considered nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

“The week leading up to the move there was a lot of nervousness,” explains Don Flynn, chairman of the PFC board. “Would we have things done on time? Could the construction be done? How was it all going to look? I just couldn’t see clearly how this was all going to work.”

In the end, Flynn’s nerves could not stand up to the power of good old Kitchissippi community spirit. “There was a startling amount of enthusiasm. No one threw up their hands and left. The positive attitude kept everyone buoyed up,” he reports.

PFC board member Lynda Hansen remembers a particularly tense moment that was easily dissolved with the strong arms of PFC’s neighbours. “The city building inspector was coming on the last possible day, the day before the move. The place still looked like a construction site. We made a call out to the community and a whole crew showed up and suddenly the place looked shiny and new. Everything came together miraculously.”

To date, both volunteers and PFC clients are excited about the new changes at the centre. There are two areas of focus in the centre, each of equal importance. Clients are now using the centre’s food bank services with what is called the shopping cart model. Instead of passively waiting for their food order to be filled, clients shop employing grocery carts, shelves filled with nutritious options and a point system. Volunteers accompany shoppers as they make their choices. “In this model, you get to chat with your neighbour all the way through. It’s a more meaningful experience for the volunteers and the clients,” explains Flynn.

Across from the food aisles and the produce market, is the large and adaptable kitchen. Filled with counter space, storage and appliances, the kitchen has become a veritable hub. “This is a wonderful space for our Trillium collective kitchen,” says Secord. The kitchen is used to repackage food into individual portions for food bank use and so much more. There are workshops led by local chefs. Volunteers process food donations to prevent waste. For instance, in December, a large donation of persimmons was made into a fruit spread for distribution.

Another point of triumph for the centre, is the fact that the project has been completed on budget. “We have been able to do this because people and local organizations have been so generous,” explains Hansen. She names Brigil Construction,Keller Williams Foundation for Giving, Historic Building Company, Advance Building Interiors, Dulux Paints and Multi-Drain as major contributors.

Though clearly tired from all of the work of moving the PFC to Rosemount Ave., Secord, Flynn and Hansen are thrilled to be celebrating the new space. “It’s like you are having people over to your new house. Everything has to be perfect!” says Secord.

And pictures attest to that…

simple color painting that shows apple tree and 6 children (one in tree)

Room to Grow

Photo Caption: The new painting that graces the seating area in the new home of the Parkdale Food Centre. It depicts gleaning – the harvesting of food from unexpected sources like urban apple trees. Students from Fisher Park helped to create the image.

collage of 3 images showing food

Food for Thought

Photo Caption: A food centre is about food, health and healthy food. The appetizers created for the grand opening reflect that. Parkdale Food Volunteers Louise and Sarah created green pea and parmesan crostini for the Rosemount Avenue grand opening.

More Facts on the new location.

Hours for the centre are Tuesdays 12 to 3 pm and 6 to 8 pm and Thursdays 12 to 3 pm.

January 22, 2015: Photo Inset: Parkdale Food Centre Gets A New Home.

5 smiling persons in foreground, 4 more working amongst shelves in background.

Warming the New Home.

The Parkdale Food Centre opened in its new home at 2-30 Rosemount Avenue, with Yasir Naqvi, Jeff Leiper, Vivian Joynt, Karen Secord and Paul Dewar all in attendance. Read the full story online at newswest.org (Ed. Above). Photo by Susan Ong.

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