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The GARDENS Project

Tags: November 2022, Vol. 3, Issue 1

The GARDENS Project is a collaboration between LAMP Community Health Centre and Humber College, with oversight by the GARDENS Advisory Council (GAC), a grassroots group made up of residents, agencies, and community leaders in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. The primary goal of the GARDENS project is to improve food security in South-Etobicoke while engaging, educating and empowering the community through access to nutritious food and free hands-on training and learning experiences.

The GARDENS partners with local businesses and schools to reclaim and repurpose underutilized land for the purpose of growing fresh produce. Produce is donated directly back to the community through mediums such as LAMP’s Good Food Market, the Daily Bread Food Bank, or directly to those in need.

This year, the growing season, which ran from end of May to end of September, contributed 420 pounds of fresh vegetables and herbs harvested from the Pods, and donated to the New Toronto Food Bank, LAMP CHC’s Good Food Market, and EarlyOn programming. There were also seven workshops delivered on gardening and wellness related topics, free to community members. A community cookbook was also developed this year, filled with community members’ favourite recipes, which is free and accessible on the GARDENS website.

To wrap up a successful season, a Harvest Celebration was held on September 28 in the G Building at Lakeshore Campus. This event celebrated the contributions from partners and volunteers who helped to maintain the multiple Pods at various locations. After a presentation of appreciation by Ayesha Amin, Global Learning & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the FSCS and Principal’s Office, attendees enjoyed light snacks, the community cookbook, and went home with swag bags as a thank you.

Vegetables on a table in brown bags

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