“I feel belonging because of the garden. It has changed my life.”
One in nine people around the world are going hungry according to the United Nations. Since the pandemic struck, 40 percent more people in need of a nutritious meal have turned to the Fred Victor Centre, a Mission & Service partner, for help. That’s one of the reasons why the 240 community gardens it runs are so important.
“Every day, we’ll see 250‒300 people standing outside for food. That is all the encouragement we need to keep growing and cooking. We donate most of the fruits and vegetables to our kitchen, and our participants get fresh veggies and support from us,” says Ashrafi, Fred Victor’s garden centre coordinator.
Today, over 200 families, many living in poverty, grow their own nutritious food at Fred Victor’s gardens thanks to generous supporters like you. But there’s more to the gardens than the food.
Ashrafi says children learn where food comes from by gardening, and participants tell her they feel less stress and pain, have more energy, and meet new friends because of the gardens.
“People from different cultural backgrounds share their vegetables and herbs with each other. Through sharing, they come to appreciate each other. At the core, we are all the same,” she says.
The garden has changed Ashrafi’s life, too.
“As an immigrant, I came here feeling isolated. My family didn’t know where to start. But now I feel I’m standing on my own feet and I know the community. Every day when I walk home from work everyone says, ‘Hi Ashrafi, how are you?’ They make my day happier. I feel belonging because of the garden. It has changed my life. Thank you for your support.”
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