Blog #4: Farewell

Thank you to everyone who has been following our posts since the beginning of this term. We would like to invite you to read our last moment of significance as we bid you farewell.

A moment of significance occurred when we met up with Aaron, the coordinator of Rainbow Soup Social in order to finally materialize our recipe book.

What

We were quite oblivious to the Food Hub programs at GNH and even more so to the Rainbow Soup Social group. Our meeting with Aaron Purdie, the program manager for HIM (Healthy Initiative for Men) and the coordinator of Rainbow Soup Social opened our eyes to a whole new perspective. Through Aaron, we learned that the Rainbow Soup Social consist largely of queer and gay men who wishes to use food as an avenue to give back to the community. The Rainbow Soup Social directly connects HIM (Health initiatives for Men), a queer and gay men support group with GNH’s Friday Food Hub program. This group illustrates the perfect example of asset-based community development where citizens of the community contribute to the development of the community (Mathie and Cunningham, 2003). Not only do they provide healing through cooking for a group of marginalized people within our community, the Rainbow Soup Social also allows for these marginalized individuals to give back to our community during the Friday soup kitchen. Never in a million years would we have imagined the interconnected complexity that exists within Food Hub programs such as the Rainbow Soup Social at GNH.

So What

However, the largest issue we’ve witnessed, which led us to our moment of significance, was how a disconnect existed between the Friday soup kitchen patrons and the Rainbow Soup Social group. While volunteering for GNH, we have been asked countless times by patrons regarding the people behind those delicious soups and the recipes for them. We weren’t too sure of the answer ourselves, which led us to asking Chantille, the Director of Community Initiatives, who then informed us about the various groups that help create the meals for GNH patrons. From these experiences, we have realized that it is so crucial on our part to bridge these various groups of people. As a result of our newfound awareness regarding the disconnect of knowledge between two important groups of people at GNH, we have began to materialize our recipe book with the goal of connecting these individuals in mind.

Now What

After meeting with the HIM support group and gathering some recipes and heartfelt stories from the members, we are very excited to be close to completing our recipe book! We also added a personal touch by sharing our own memorable meal creations and including a short story about it. By including personal stories from ourselves and members of the HIM support group, we hope to form a sense of connectedness with the patrons of GNH. We will be showcasing this recipe book during our final presentation tomorrow and hope to receive feedback from students, teachers, and others. Once the feedback has been taken into consideration, we will make necessary adjustments, and finally, we will find a suitable day to showcase our recipe book to Chantille as well as the patrons of GNH. We are very optimistic about the outcomes of this recipe book and hope to achieve our goal of bridging the gap between patrons and chefs, resulting in an effective and transparent transfer of food knowledge and interconnectedness.

We are so grateful to have been a part of this project with Gordon Neighbourhood House; the supportive staff members, cheerful optimistic patrons, and well-established programs present in their community have truly inspired us to utilize their assets and strengths to further the transfer of food literacy knowledge. We only hope that the next LFS 350 group will be able to push this goal into greater depth.

 

References

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based community development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474-486.

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