Sun Youth gardening season – Over the last few years, Sun Youth has undergone a slow but steady move towards increasing the amount of fresh produce in its food baskets. It began with ensuring that all families visiting our food bank leave with milk and eggs, but also fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden created on the grounds of the Sun Youth warehouse through the renewed financial support of the Foresters Financial group and the volunteer involvement of its members grows some 1,400 pounds of vegetables for Sun Youth’s food bank users on an annual basis. Since the beginning of the project, close to 4,500 pounds of fresh food has been harvested since the creation of this community garden. In addition to Sun Youth’s own urban gardens, McGill’s Macdonald Campus and the Fiddlehead farms also provide fresh vegetables to Sun Youth all summer long. Sun Youth also receives organic vegetables grown in Montreal thanks to the Regroupement Partage’s project “Cultiver l’espoir”, done in collaboration with the social integration group in organic farming, D-3-Pierres, growing vegetables on 5 hectares of Bois-de-la-Roche farmlands in Senneville.
On May 19th, a group of volunteers from Foresters Financial and from Sun Youth gathered outside of the organization’s Saint-Laurent warehouse to officially open the community garden. Throughout the day they were busy moving potato towers, building and putting into use three 8′ X 4′ new garden beds while repairing the broken ones, planting red cabbage and performing an extensive spring cleaning of the grounds. Sun Youth would like to thank these big-hearted people for their precious support at this time. Special thanks also go to Foresters Financial for making this initiative possible year after year through their financial and logistics support, with special thanks going to Georgia Jerkovic for initiating and supporting this project year after year since its inception. Thanks to such supporters, the Sun Youth Food Bank is able to feed over 10,000 underprivileged families every year.
If you are interested in gardening while also giving back to the community, Sun Youth is always looking for volunteers to tend to its St-Laurent urban garden. Those interested should email the organization’s volunteer department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature image: Volunteers from Foresters Financial and from Sun Youth, Fenia Jeudy, Michelle Della Corte, Georgia Jerkovic (in front), Sam Azer, Elsa Gordon Beker, Suyapa Domingues Merlo and Eric Kinglsey, answered the call and helped the organization open the Community Garden at its Saint-Laurent Warehouse. Photo: Caroline Viger-Lazare.