“I've found fun and excitement in attending the garden and kitchen programs. It gives me reason to get out and socialize so I don't isolate. The people here are really great to interact with.”
A community centre built around good food
The Mount Paul Community Food Centre puts food at the centre of better better health, better skills, and better belonging. Kids get their hands dirty in the garden and cook up delicious meals together in the kitchen. Seniors gather at the produce market and stay to share a meal together. Volunteers tend to the gardens, which serve up bushels of fresh produce for home and for programs.
Through its programs and welcoming space, the CFC gives community members who are living on low incomes the opportunity to improve their physical health, make new friends and feel less isolated, and contribute to the community. 81% of community members surveyed say the CFC gives them better access to healthy food. 77% of people say they're eating more fruits and vegetables since they started coming to programs at the CFC. And 86% of people say they feel like they belong to a community at the CFC.
An innovative partnership
Interior Community Services has been providing frontline services to the Kamloops community for more than 50 years. In 2018, Community Food Centres Canada began working with Interior Community Services to build a Community Food Centre in Kamloops' North Shore neighbourhood, an area with one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the city.
ICS understood the deep-rooted food insecurity issues in the community, and saw how a Community Food Centre could increase access to healthy food and create a vibrant place where residents could get together to cook and grow food, find friends and support, and take action on community issues. The purchase and renovation of a building on Laburnum St. gave the CFC a vibrant, welcoming space in which to take root. The Mount Paul Community Food Centre officially launched in June 2019.