When people get together and share the work in a collective garden, they actively contribute to building a sustainable, community-based food system. Through redistribution efforts, this contribution leads to increased access to organic food through emergency food resources like the NDG Food Depot, as well as innovative food projects like collective kitchens, nutrition programs, canning workshops and Meals on Wheels services.
The NDG Food Depot
The NDG Food Depot has been servicing the NDG community since 1986 and has become one of the major players in the food security network in the area. Working together with schools and other organizations in the NDG community, our objectives are to improve the access to healthy and affordable food for those living on low incomes by distributing free emergency food baskets and other resources. We also help users deal with the issues surrounding and contributing to poverty by providing pamphlets and contacts with other groups offering services that are pertinent to food bank users, and by sensitizing the public to the poverty and hunger that exists though public presentations, visits to schools and articles in the media.
The Good Food Box
The intent of this program is to allow residents of Montreal to have access to a variety of good quality fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. In collaboration with Quebec farmers, the program consists in buying a significant amount of fresh market produce to resell at low cost to individuals through community organizations. By encouraging local production, this is considered a complementary, practical and economical option to the range of products offered by food banks. The program was first carried out in the borough of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce through the Table de concertation de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) and NDG Food Depot. The Good Food Box is distributed every 2 weeks and is available in 3 sizes: the large box ($16) feeds a family of 3 or more, the medium box ($10) is suitable for 2 people and the small box ($7) is ideal for a single person.
In 2007, thanks to the support of The Foundation of Greater Montreal, Action Communiterre led a project to find out what the neighbours, staff and families of the school community envision for the grounds adjacent to the Les Enfants du Monde School. With this input, a landscape plan was developed to create a park. Students and teachers of the school, community members and politicians, have all had a hand in realizing this vision, planting this urban oasis of native trees, a diverse organic garden and a heritage orchard.
Through the NDG Coalition for Food Security, we continue to engage directly with community members through roving information kiosks in the neighbourhood.