COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING TABLE
CCSAC is a member of the Centretown Neighbourhood Community Development Planning Table that brings together organizations based in Ottawa’s core to work on building a healthier community. The Planning Table has kept active during the pandemic lockdown to ensure basic services are offered to the vulnerable population living in Centretown.
Meal programs were expanded, and shelter hours extended to give area residents a safe and cool place to rest. As Ottawa begins to emerge from extended lockdown, the Planning Table members are working toward a phased restoration of established services and new medium-to-longer term projects for community development.
Member organizations of the Planning Table include: Centretown Community Health Centre, Bank Street BIA, Ottawa Community Housing, Operation Come Home, Ottawa Police Services, Centre 507 drop-in centre, and The Haven and Glebe shelters for youth. For further information, contact: Centretown Community Health Centre (www. https://www.centretownchc.org/)
COMMUNITY FRIDGE MOVEMENT
CCSAC Board member Susan Palmai made a recent trip to inspect the community refrigerator newly installed at the Parkdale Food Centre. Susan and a group from the Glebe St. James United congregation are spearheading an effort to install a similar community fridge in the downtown core. The community fridge movement is spreading throughout North America as a way to reduce waste while helping neighbours extend their grocery budgets and add fresh, nutritious food to their diets. At present, there are six community fridges in Ottawa, but the Parkdale project is the first to install a fridge, food cupboard and children’s cupboard at street level.
FRESH PRODUCE PROJECT SUPPORTS THE EMERGENCY FOOD CENTRE
Ottawa East Community Gardeners have been making regular deliveries of beautiful fresh produce to the Centretown Emergency Good Centre. The vegetables, already cleaned and packaged when delivered, offer CEFC clients a nutritious addition to their diet. CCSAC thanks these dedicated gardeners!
COMMUNITY GARDEN AT CENTRE 507
For several years, gardeners grew vegetables at Centretown United Church and supplied Centre 507 with fresh produce for their soups, sandwiches and salads – that was until the Pandemic of 2020! Given stringent health regulations, it was decided to plant flowers and forgo vegetables for 2020.
In 2021, volunteers from the Central Ottawa Cluster of the United Church (Centretown UC, Glebe St. James UC, First United, Kitchissippi UC, St. Paul’s Eastern UC and Dominion Chalmers UC), and CCSAC brought back the vegetables. A roster of volunteers weed and water daily. Work is co-ordinated with the cooks of Centre 507 so that bi-weekly harvesting is donated at a time when the cooks can use the bounty. There were actually more volunteers than could be accommodated – a lovely problem to have! This prompted a sister garden on the grounds of Glebe St. James United Church to enhance donations to Centre 507.
Neighbours stop by and ask questions about the garden and signs welcome them to go into Centre 507 to share the bounty. Although it was a challenge to operate during COVID, it is hoped to continue in the future.