Monday, 6 May 2013

A Tour of the Food Bank

As you have probably gathered by now, I am very excited about our Plant A Row, Grow A Row partnership with the Edmonton Food Bank. As part of setting this up, I had the opportunity to go on a tour of their warehouse facility and meet with some of the dedicated, hard working and creative people who are employed there.

However, when I recall my tour the food bank, one distinct image comes to mind: it is an image that shocks and dismays me. In one area of the warehouse was a wall created by six towering pallets... picture this... four foot by four foot by six foot high piles of items stacked on their wooden slat bases, wrapped in great sheaths of cling wrap to hold their contents in place... all generously shipped & donated by a corporate donor. My first thought was, "Oh how generous! I'm so glad that people step up for those in need in our city in such a kind and substantial way!" But then I took a closer look I saw that they were all great big, towering pallets of candy! That's not food! It is total junk. 

And that brings me back to our market. The Plant a Row, Grow a Row initiative is our chance to really make a difference for the food bank. It's our chance to give nutrient-dense food. Real food. 

We all look better, think better, sleep better, and our minds and bodies work better when nourished by healthy, nutrient dense, real food.  Especially when we are nourished by freshly picked, locally grown, minimally transported, superior-quality food.  Afterall, you are what you eat! That's not to say that good food is the answer to all of society's ills, but I do believe that supporting this initiative whether it be growing your own food or buying from our vendors, is our chance to really, really make a difference in people's lives.

There's really nothing like laboring for a cause. By planting a row for the food bank, by working hard at it through the season, and by seeing it bear fruit (so to speak!), you will reap far more rewards than you would by just opening your pocketbook and writing a cheque. The same goes for purchasing from our vendors: by carefully selecting produce for the food bank, you're truly personalizing your donation and making it meaningful. In this way you are forging a connection and truly giving back to your city, and to your community at large.

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Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

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