The $20,000 grant was awarded to Greater Fredericton Social Innovation to allow them to expand the Community Food Smart program. This program is inclusive, but is targeted at individuals and families living on low income, those suffering from chronic illness, university students, new immigrants, First Nations, the elderly and single parent families. It provides access to fresh, quality produce that is affordable.
Susanne White from Greater Fredericton Social Innovation Inc. describes the program this way: “Community Food Smart buys fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk from wholesalers and farmers and passes these saving backs to our members. For those living on fixed and limited incomes this makes a huge difference in the amount and quality of healthy foods they can put on their tables. This is all made possible thanks to the support of a network of distributors including food banks, Horizon Health clinics, multicultural, tenant and student associations and many dedicated volunteers. We are excited knowing that this Impact Grant will enable us to grow our network of distributors so that we can provide this same great service to nearby rural communities and in support of school breakfast and meal programs.”
The fledgling program has grown rapidly over the past year to the point of capacity. The grant will provide much needed resources to expand the program to surrounding communities, thus reaching more individuals and families in dire need of access to healthy, affordable food.
The $10,000 Community Impact Grant was awarded to The John Howard Society of Fredericton for their At Home and Beyond Program. This program provides support for homeless people who have recently been re-housed to increase the odds of them being able to maintain their homes. Individuals will be given group-based housing retention training and, based on need, some will receive individual support and peer support. The support will be made available to 65 former chronic and episodically homeless individuals who have been rehoused through rapid rehousing efforts in the Fredericton Region. The John Howard Society’s Faith McFarland notes, “Helping at-risk populations transition and maintain long-term housing has incredible value to our community; such as, decreased use of health and public safety services.”