Green thumbs and helping hands are needed for a new project growing 15,000 pounds of produce.
The Better Food Company is seeking volunteers to help plant, maintain, harvest, prep, cook and distribute this produce for the Seed-to-Table project. This charitable initiative was created out of the money raised through the sale of pre-made meals by the Better Food Company at Hope House.
After the produce is grown in the summer, it will be distributed to residents accessing services at the Hope House in the fall. Any leftover produce will be used to make 750 meals for the community.
Alex Glaros, social impact lead, said the Seed-to-Table project gives residents more opportunities to be part of the food system beyond purchasing a premade meal.
“We want participants to feel, see and taste how their time on the farm helps prepare onions and carrots and all these other crops that were shared with the Guelph community," said Glaros.
He adds the volunteer roles will also provide residents with skills and an understanding of the challenges within the current food system.
“When you get to see everything from the very start to the very end, it changes how you relate to your food, and you understand more of the time, and of the energy, and of the relationships that go into making a sustainable food system.”
Justin Chan, director of the Better Food Company, said food sharing is foundational in many cultures, including a dish with one spoon.
“It’s awesome to be able to share 15,000 pounds of food with our community to really live out these food sharing principles,” said Chan.
“The end result is a community that feels more connected to the land where the food is grown and is more willing to share, and I think that’s why it is so important to connect over food."
Currently, the Seed-to-Table project is in the planting and maintaining stage, which will require five volunteers every weekend to help out at the Hope House farm from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the prepping and cooking work, three volunteers will be needed everyday to help.
Chan said he believes this project is starting a movement on a grassroots level, and once people spread word about their experiences volunteering for the Seed-to-Table Project, the Better Food Company will see more people helping or returning to help out, much like it currently does for the production of its pre-made meals.
“In our kitchen for our monthly productions, we're seeing people bring their children or their friends, and I think that’s what it is about, it’s showing people how much we can do within their community, having fun with it and encouraging people to keep doing it."
To volunteer for the Seed-to-Table project, residents must be over the age of 15. Residents can learn more about the project at betterfoods.ca.