Giving Back to my Hometown Area

2014-09-29_FilmCrew_9290160(1)Today on The Marilyn Denis Show I fulfilled a personal goal that has filled my heart with gratitude and will be forever locked in my memory.










I grew up in a lovely small town called Ardoch in the area of North Frontenac.  Many wonderful members of the community donated goods from their own cupboards to help others when they couldn’t get by.  My family was a recipient of this food bank at various times when I was a child. Although the sense of “giving” was part of the town, there was also a secretive nature to using community assistance. I often felt a sense of shame for being in that unfortunate situation but I also had a sense of gratitude for being able to eat.  The disappointment and appreciation caused me to have mixed emotions about food, fairness and issues of social equality at an early age. At the time I didn’t know how to define my mixed emotions and my views of society but I did begin to grow an understanding of how food played a large part in my own life. When we had food in our cupboard I felt safe. If we didn’t have much I felt scared. This experience as a child created the spark of understanding that food isn’t just something that satisfies the hunger gap, but it brings a deeper level of emotional nourishment.

Fast forward many years later and as a mother of two boys one of the ways I nurture them is to have food in my cupboards and fridge…and many hugs and kisses of course ;)  IMG_5481

As I tie it all together it is by no surprise I am so passionate about food and have made a career of it. From the conception of my business I made a promise to myself that I would somehow work to help provide healthy food for low-income families, without judgment or shame and instead support and nurture.

While visiting my family this past summer in my home-town area of Perth I walked into The Table, a Community Food Centre location to see what everyone was talking about. I was overwhelmed with the incredible offering of support for community members. I had the opportunity to spend time with Head Chef, Judy Dempsey who showed me around the facility. IMG_3243I visited community gardens where the fresh produce is used for food bank offerings, community meals and for programs for children to understand how to grow real food. I watched as volunteers prepped food for mealtime offered to anyone who just needed a healthy homemade meal spent with others. Not only is this community food centre feeding bellies, but they are also nourishing hearts and minds. I couldn’t help but reflect back and wonder if this type of uplifting support was offered when I was younger would I have gone through the emotional challenges I encountered. I was touched and inspired and began brainstorming ways to contribute to this organization.

I thought that it would be wonderful if I could bring some healthy groceries up to The Table and help to contribute to a community meal. I was overjoyed when Pusateri’s Fine Foods, top gourmet retailer in Toronto, graciously offered a generous donation of groceries to not only help me with this initiative, but to provide additional healthy items for the community food bank.


I have been working with Pusateris for the past couple of years and in this time we have worked hard to provide healthy options for customers – it was so exciting to be able to take some of these foods back to my hometown.  I had so much fun shopping with my colleague Nicole. It took us three hours and filled up five grocery carts. Here are some pictures of all of the amazing foods we loaded up on.



I also received a wonderful donation from VEGA providing 100 shaker cups and travel packs of my favorite protein smoothie. Sea-licious also kindly donated maple flavoured fish oil for all community members.

Thank you to these wonderful companies for their kindness and support during this unforgettable experience in my life.



I believe that every community should have a Community Food Centre where no matter what your situation is you can feel holistically nourished, educated about healthy eating, and up-lifted during times of challenge.

This is what community is all about.

This was a full circle experience for me. I was able to go back to the place of pain as a child and turn it into a loving gift for others. I have hopes of continuing to support this life-changing organization in the near future.


The final product. A health-inspired meal made with local, seasonal ingredients and a lotta love!

For more information on Community Food Centres Canada and  how to donate click here

  1. James says:

    If every community takes part in nutrition awareness to its members,health condition will improve drastically.Let`s join together and fight malnutrition in the society .

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