Niagara, ON, June 2, 2023 – As the food security crisis worsens locally, United Way Niagara is partnering with Absolute Change Management (ACM) to create a new two-acre community garden in Vineland, putting more healthy food in the hands of people in Niagara. All produce grown will support organizations that deliver food programs to communities in need, including more than 22 partners currently offering Community Pop-up Produce Markets, a program that United Way helps facilitate.
Supporting a wide range of investments into local food security, United Way is thrilled to now also partner with ACM to create a community garden space that will bring the community together, growing healthy food to be shared with priority communities across Niagara.
Residents struggling to feed their families in post-pandemic times continue to experience extreme stress. As food costs skyrocket – due to inflation, supply chain disruptions and climate change – many low-income families simply are unable to afford the food they need.
“It is vital that our investments not only address acute food insecurity and current emergency needs but also take into consideration building stronger communities for the future,” says Frances Hallworth, United Way Niagara CEO. “Partnering with Absolute Change Management for this new massive community garden is just one more step towards a more resilient and healthier community for everyone.”
Supporting a wide range of investments into local food security, United Way is thrilled to now also partner with ACM to create a community garden space that will bring the community together, growing healthy food to be shared with priority communities across Niagara. The goal of this new partnership is to grow as much produce as possible on the two-acre plot of land with the help of local volunteers and partners. 100 per cent of the food grown in this community garden will reach those who need it in Niagara.
“At ACM, we strive to make things better, to redefine the possibilities. This approach applies to our clients, our staff and our community as a whole,” said Dave Peters, ACM President. “When we decided to create this community garden, it began as a teaching and engagement tool and quickly blossomed into a full-blown partnership with United Way to improve food security. We are passionate about making a difference and working hard to connect United Way Niagara with resources that can help fund this project. With the help of many volunteers and these amazing partners, our goal is to ensure 100 per cent of the food grown here will reach people who need it, changing lives for the better.”
The second of United Way’s Garden Hubs will boast 100 fruit trees, including peach, apple and pears, as well as a number of fruit shrubs and loads of herbs and vegetables. United Way Niagara is grateful to have the early support of several local organizations on our journey towards improving food security in our community:
- Meridian Beamsville Branch
- Meridian Vineland Branch
- Salit Steel
As well as in-kind support from Walker Environmental Group, William Dam Seeds and Niagara College Canada.
Community gardens bring everyone together to grow, learn and share. If you would like to support the initiative, there are many sponsorship opportunities available.