THE GOOD FOOD PROJECT
The SEED and Everdale signed on in 2019 as a founding members of the Good Food Project, a collective impact project that will increase food sovereignty in Guelph and Wellington County by:
Increasing fresh food access for those who need it
Training and inspiring youth with barriers to health and employment
Providing social and food-skills experiences that motivate community members to support increased food security in their community.
Giving all community members tangible opportunities to contribute to positive systems change, demonstrating a community-supported alternative to the charitable foodbank model
All activities within the Good Food Project are intended to make healthy and culturally appropriate food more accessible to all community members, using grassroots power and ecologically sound methods.
The current reality is that about 16.4% Guelph and Wellington community members are food insecure – that’s about 20,000 people who do not have access to enough healthy food, right here in our robust agricultural area. This is higher than the national average. Despite these challenges, we believe that Guelph and Wellington can be one of the first communities in Canada to overcome the chronic problem of food insecurity and become “food secure”, with everyone having access to enough healthy food. Building food sovereignty is an important element of this work.
What we are doing so far:
Everdale grows fresh food and The SEED distributes it via social enterprises and programs. In the first year of the Good Food Project we grew and distributed 8,000 lbs. of fresh food!
Volunteer community members help to grow the food under the guidance of trained farmers. Transportation and other benefits are provided.
Partners help to train and employ local youth who are experiencing barriers to employment and health. These youth help grow the food while building leadership and employment experience.
Local businesses and organizations can participate in our Team Building program where they help to grow food and raise funds for our project
Carrot Stock is the annual fundraiser for the Good Food Project. The event features local bands, farm-fresh gourmet food, u-pick carrots, local beer and cider, and the beautiful rolling hills of Everdale.
Guelph Youth Farm
Guelph Youth Farm (GYF) is a half-acre farm plot located on 100 Westmount Road, Guelph – in a strip of land between St. Josephs Health Centre and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School. Started in 2017, GYF is a partnership between The SEED, Everdale Farm, and St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
GYF operates as a social enterprise devoted to youth leadership and food justice. GYF is one of the farm locations that grows food for the Good Food Project, a partnership between The SEED and Everdale. The goal of the Good Food Project is to get more local fresh food onto the plates of food insecure community members.
As part of The SEED’s Youth Employment program, youth are trained to grow fresh vegetables at GYF. These fresh crops are distributed via The SEED’s other social enterprises such as the Community Food Markets, Garden Fresh Box, and the Good Food Distribution warehouse.
GYF also serves as a dynamic “farm park” that is open to the public. Seniors use the farm for SEED-run workshops and social gatherings. Neighbours walk their dogs and hang out at the picnic tables. Students from Lourdes High School come to the farm to learn and help grow food.
GUILLERMO DE PAZ
I started farming for the first time ever through the Guelph Youth Farm, and it has been an amazing experience. Everything about the program is positive, and it is a great way to give back to the community. Without any previous farming experience, I can say this has been the best job I've ever had, and it is a lifetime opportunity to learn from people with many different talents.
I am a youth farmer at the Guelph Youth Farm, and have been working there for five months. I enjoy the program because it has taught me a lot about leadership, partnerships, and food insecurity and how we can all help to make a food secure community. The youth farm to me is like a voice that needs to be heard. It’s telling us how this is just the beginning of something incredible.
Directing Manager, The SEED