JCI provides Operation Street Angel with garden beds
On Saturday, April 27, volunteers and members of the non-profit organization JCI Kootenay installed six garden beds in conjunction with the Operation Street Angel wellness centre.
Street Angel is a facility which supports the less fortunate in our community by providing among other things, nightly meals, shower facilities, laundry and social services. Street Angel clients often provide assistance in the day-to-day running of the facility, including the maintenance of four existing garden beds, which were installed in 2018.
Installing the garden beds is the first phase of a project which aims to provide Street Angel clients with an opportunity to learn more about growing their own food, while also providing the facility with fresh, healthy produce for its nightly meals.
JCI Kootenay received $1,500 towards the project after winning the 2018 Active Citizen Competition at the 2018 JCI BC-Yukon Regional Convention. It’s an initiative that encourages JCI members throughout the region to identify issues within their local communities, and develop projects which aim to solve those issues.
“Food security is big issue in our community, and giving people the skills and resources to grow their own food is key to reducing hunger and stay healthy.” This from project chair James Farnan.
JCI Kootenay spoke with a number of potential partners for this project, eventually landing on Street Angel. Farnan says they were the perfect fit.
“We really like that Street Angel encourages their clients to take an active role in running their facility. They will be hands-on in the garden, something which is essential for the project to reach its goals.”
The installation and filling of the garden beds cost approximately $1,100, leaving roughly $400 for purchasing of crops and gardening workshops for clients.
JCI Kootenay would like to recognize Home Hardware Cranbrook and Top Crop Garden Farm & Pet, who provided generous discounts on wood and soil, and Fiorentino Brothers Contracting, who provided some gardening supplies and a dump truck for soil delivery. Without this community support, keeping the project within budget wouldn’t have been possible.
In the coming weeks, JCI Kootenay will help Street Angel fill the garden beds with a variety of crops, just in time for the growing season. Pending the success of the project, the two organizations are also exploring the option of selling some of the excess food produced.
For more information on the project, or to find out more about other JCI Kootenay initiatives, contact President Coco Seitz by e-mail: [email protected].
Lead image: JCI Kootenay members and Tony Fiorentino stand beside two of the three garden beds installed at Operation Street Angel beside Balmont Park. Photos submitted