Friday, July 12, 2024

CMHA Asks Community to Rally and Vote Online


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CMHA Grey Bruce is asking for the public’s support to help its unique food forest program beat the competition in an national online contest, with winners eligible for up to $100,000.

The edible forest project has been named as a candidate in the Aviva Community Fund, which will invest $1 million in charitable community initiatives across Canada.

Finalists are chosen based on the number of online votes cast. People can register and vote at  between now and October 28.

We operate one of the few food forests across Canada and are developing expertise in this area that we can share with other communities across the province and country,” said Teresa Pearson, Program Manager at CMHA Grey Bruce. “Winning this contest will allow us to expand our edible forest to make it bigger and better for the benefit of our clients and the community.”

The food forest at St. George’s Park has been a community hub for three years. It includes a fruit orchard and 70 raised garden beds for vegetables, herbs, and other edible plants. CMHA Grey Bruce employs 12 clients as gardeners who help plant, tend, and harvest the crops. The fruit and vegetables are sold at local markets and used in a community brunch program that provides nutritional meals to about 60 people daily, Monday to Friday.

I love gardening. It gives me a purpose, gives me exercise, and every year I learn more about growing my own food,” said gardener Pat Reain. “I especially want to thank CMHA for giving me and all the workers at the food forest a job.”

If successful for an Aviva Community Fund grant, the branch will use the money to get a kick-start on implementing a three-year plan, which includes hiring a horticulturalist, adding pathways, building a storage shed and herb-drying station, putting up new fencing to enclose the orchard, installing washrooms, and building additional parking.

Help CMHA Grey Bruce expand its food forest. Vote today at . Voting closes October 28.

Those who register to vote will be allowed to vote a total of eighteen times, all of which can be cast at once.

The Aviva Community will announce finalists on November 7, and winners on December 6.

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