Beef stew with dumplings. Red lentil curry with apple and roasted vegetable salad. Falafel with lemon rice, green salad and pita. These are just a few of the nutritious and delicious Family Suppers served every Monday night at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, thanks to a generous grant from the Telus Atlantic Canada Community Board.
The $15,000 grant makes it possible for young families in the community to come together every week to enjoy a healthy meal together with their friends and neighbours. The menus share new takes on familiar foods and focus on hearty dinners made inexpensively.
“We work hard on managing food selection and cost so that the meals we prepare can be replicated by the families who attend,” says Deborah Dickey, Manager of the Community Food Centre. Almost half of Dartmouth North’s children live in low income households, in comparison to 19% in the rest of the Halifax region.
“This is an important opportunity for families to enjoy a meal out, at no cost, and in a welcoming and dignified environment,” says Dickey.
The meals are prepared and served with care by volunteers, many of whom are also familiar faces at other programs operated by the Community Food Centre.
“We operate with a small staff and a huge network of volunteers. Many of our volunteers are experiencing poverty and social isolation” says Wendy Fraser, Executive Director. “So contributions by organizations like Telus not only support our programs, they also provide important opportunities for community members to learn new skills and be active participants in their community.”
In the past year, close to 25,000 meals and healthy snacks were served or sent home at the Community Food Centre and 9,802 volunteer hours were contributed. In recent surveys 90% of participants said that the food centre provides them with an important source of healthy food; 72% reported eating more fruits and vegetables because of participation in food centre programming and 59% said they were eating less fast food; and 80% of participants reported making new friends who they could call on for help at the food centre.
Thank you Telus for your ongoing support of good food programming in Dartmouth North!