The crisis caused by lack of access to healthy food for many residents, particularly those who are low income, is a key health priority which is well recognized and documented. In response, the SPC Board established a priority in 2011 to work to develop new programs to directly increase access to healthy food.
Our food programs include:
The Collaborative Food Pantry
- Based on a business plan developed by a group of volunteers, the Collaborative Food Pantry enables collaborative bulk buying of nutritious food staples (non-perishable) by households facing food insecurity. By addressing the challenges of cash flow and transportation barriers, the Collaborative Food Pantry allows households to stretch their food dollars and increase access to healthy foods. Our Pantry has created a new opportunity along the spectrum of food supports for low income residents to better meet their food needs - situated between a charitable food bank model and individually purchasing food in the private market at full market price. It revives and updates a model of co-operative support from the Great Depression, in which low income people established food buying collectives or clubs to enable them to be more strategic with their limited food dollars by addressing a range of barriers they faced.
Good Food Markets
- The “Poverty and Hunger Working Group (PHWG)” is a collaboration of over ten organizational members including the Social Planning Council of Ottawa. The group is led by the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, and is focused on creating new programs to increase access to nutritious food for low income residents. In 2012, the PHWG established four pilot Good Food Markets, to bring the dried goods and staples from the SPCs Collaborative Food Pantry and the produce from the Good Food Box to four neighbourhoods in the City through "pop-up markets". Two markets per site were held this summer, and were evaluated as very successful. Not only are the Good Food Markets providing low income communities with the option of purchasing fresh foods but through this valued partnership, the markets are also able to offer communities the opportunity to purchase much needed proteins and basics, such as beans, rice, nuts, flour and legumes. The Good Food Markets are expanding to additional sites in 2013 to bring affordable nutritious food into more communities identified as “food deserts”. (Visit www.gfmottawa.ca)
Funding for our food programs has been received from the Community Foundation of Ottawa with support from the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres (via a grant from the City of Ottawa).
How you Can Help
We’re looking for enthusiastic people to help with:
- Our community kitchen
- Our consultations with immigrant youth on improving access to healthy food
- Document lay-out
- Website updates
To volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SPC relies on donations, membership fees and research contracts to cover costs which are not covered within our grants. The SPC is a registered charity and provides income tax receipts. To direct your donation to a particular program such as the Revolving Food Fund, just tell us your preference when you donate.
Donations may be made:
- By phone at 613-236-9300
- By mail to SPC, 790 Bronson Ave., Ottawa, K1S 4G4