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April 14, 2016: 2016 Parkdale Food Centre AGM; New location, new ideas.

April 14, 2016: 2016 Parkdale Food Centre AGM;
New location, new ideas.

By Karen Secord, P.F.C.

Time flies. It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since we moved into our new location at 30 Rosemount Ave. This expansion, and our partnership with Somerset West Community Health Centre, has been really positive. Our doors are now open five days a week to our neighbours, and we have we have expanded our programming to include nutritional education and cooking workshops.

With the ongoing support of our donors, partners and dedicated volunteers, we continue to provide those in need with fresh and wholesome food. Sadly however, food insecurity is on the rise and roughly thirteen percent of all Canadians remain without access to adequate amounts of safe, good-quality, and nutritious food.

The root cause of hunger in Canada is low incomes which consistently affects more than four million of us at any given time. Each month over 850,000 Canadians turn to food-banks for help? more than one third are children and youth. Let’s continue to work together to end the cycle of poverty and food insecurity.

Says Councillor Jeff Leiper, “I’ve seen firsthand the growth in the number of people using the Food Centre. The community residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in supporting Karen and her team through that massive increase in need, but that’s not sustainable. All levels of government need to do more to address the inequality issues that have resulted in that increase in the number of people who need help.”

We are excited to hear from our community. This year’s AGM will include a new component as we change the way we do things at PFC. For the first time in our history the PFC will be signing up members to be part of the voting process. For those 18 and over, membership is free and requires only a signed membership form indicating an interest in furthering the purposes of the PFC and agreeing with our Mission statement.

Those interested can print a form from our website ( http://parkdalefoodcentre.ca ), or pick one up at 30 Rosemount. In order to vote you must live or work within our catchment area – Bayswater Ave to Island Park and The Ottawa River to Carling Avenue – and be present at the meeting.

Whether you become a member or not, everyone is encouraged to attend the AGM, talk to board members, neighbours and volunteers, and learn about our services. The AGM is not a fundraising event so no one will put the squeeze on you for a donation.

According to Don Flynn, chairman of the PFC board, “Since we have moved to 30 Rosemount, we have become a lot more than a food bank, so I would invite you to ask us about our programs and services. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what we have accomplished in a short period of time.”

The Parkdale Food Centre will host its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday April 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre, with a welcome by Jeff Leiper, City Councillor, and guest speaker Marco Pagani, Executive Director of The Community Foundation of Ottawa.

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