We’re the ones who decide how our home is managed. That’s why we want to come here and do things. When I started working in the garden, they said, “If you have ideas, share them and we’ll help you implement them.” In fact, thanks to the garden, I feel like I’m back at work at a new job. I can’t stand sitting around my house anymore. I feel like I have a purpose in life. And I want to show my son that you can overcome anything.
We live in an area where there is nothing to eat, as the neighbourhood has no food markets. People who live here, and especially seniors, have nowhere to go to get healthy food. Most don’t have a car, so the only option is to use public transit or paratransit, or ask a friend for a ride just to go to the grocery store. I’m doing better now, but five years ago, the idea of getting on a bus to run errands a few kilometres away was impossible. I had to go to the convenience store which cost me double the price. That’s what people do.
At the food bank, we have a weekly booth that sells affordable fruits and vegetables. You can get a full paper bag for two dollars. Right now we just have sprouts, because we just launched the program. But by the end of the summer, we’ll have tomatoes, cucumbers, celery—everything. We’re trying to start a food system with a garden, market and purchasing group. When I get to the agency, they always ask if I have food at home. If I’ve run out, they always find something for me in the fridge or pantry.
“Thanks to the garden, I feel like I’m back at work at a new job. I can’t stand sitting around my house anymore. I feel like I have a purpose in life.”