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Re-envisioning the GARDENS Pod Project and Food Security in South Etobicoke

Tags: Vol. 1, Issue 1, October 2020

The Principal’s Office at Humber Lakeshore, in partnership with the GARDENS Advisory Council and LAMP Community Health Centre, continued to provide fresh produce to those in need by supporting the Daily Bread Food Bank and LAMP’s Good Food Market through the GARDENS Pod Project. This season, the project donated over 400 pounds of fresh produce to the community. With in-person limitations in place due to COVID-19, the project adapted its educational programming to host 10 virtual educational workshops around food security, food justice, cooking and gardening through various online platforms.

In light of the pandemic, the GARDENS created a new operations model to provide meaningful Work-Integrated Learning opportunities for seven Humber College students in the Faculty of Social and Community Services and the Longo Faculty of Business, including three paid Project Coordinator positions. Students were responsible for maintaining and harvesting pod sites located at nine community partner locations, developing social media content and educational programming, and for conducting research and presenting findings to the GARDENS Advisory Council.

In addition to these roles, the project created work placement opportunities for three students from the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts resulting in the release of a short documentary. The film will provide a background on the project and its impact on the South Etobicoke Community while highlighting community connectedness.

After working on the documentary, film makers Simran Nijjar, Matthew Cole and Nick Burton state that:

“The GARDENS has taught us that we do not have to tackle things individually or simply ‘hope for the best,’ but rather when people come together to achieve a common goal, great things can happen. We are beyond ecstatic to have been working with a talented, dynamic, and most of all, passionate group of people looking to encourage positive change in the South Etobicoke community. We hope that our documentary will be able to highlight the great things The GARDENS has done and we look forward to what The GARDENS will do in the future.” 

Students at the GARDENS POD Project

Students planting at the GARDENS POD project

Plants at the GARDENS POD Project

To learn more about the GARDENS POD Project here.

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