The Door to Healthy Food By Amina Barechi
The beginning of another great journey has begun this summer at SummerLunch+. As a TDSB employee I’m so glad I can be apart of this amazing team again this year. Not only do I get the opportunity of educating the children about healthy meals, but I get to be apart of making this incredible change in our summer systems. This program has allowed me to look outside the box and made me aware of a problem that I was not able to notice in my own neighbourhood. Our first year last summer was a success as our small steps made a positive change in the lives of many of these children. Coming back this year made me realize that there’s just so much more to learn and do as a team to help families and kids have access to healthy food. This year the SummerLunch+ team created a community garden to give families a place where they can have access to healthy affordable food. Growing up in Thorncliffe Park, my family and I really never faced any financial issues when it came to buying groceries in local markets, however what I didn’t really pay attention to is that there are families out there that can’t buy healthy food simply because they just can’t afford it. For example, Food Basics is the only local grocery market in our neighbourhood and many of these families have no other option but to shop here. This is where we come in and what we want for these families is to have a place where they can easily commute to and pick out healthy fruits and vegetables we have planted. The garden at 53 Thorncliffe park is one of many we wish to build around neighbourhoods to ensure that financial issues are not the reason behind children and families not being able to continue making healthier choices at home. These positive changes we work on everyday are very small compared to the smiles we get in return for our work. Another year and another summer of feeding young minds has come a long way and is yet to go on!