In early 2011, CFCC partnered with the Perth & District Food Bank to create a new Community Food Centre. At the time, the organization ran one program—a food bank—and was overseen by a single staff person. When we first met with the food bank, they had recently bought a new building and secured a capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for renovations. Their aspirations to expand their programming were large, but they lacked resources and guidance.Beginning in January 2012 with the support of Community Food Centres Canada they transitioned to a new model and became the second affiliate Community Food Centre. They now offer integrated programs that provide access to healthy and delicious food.
Today, The Table Community Food Centre has eight staff. Programming includes a healthy food bank, regular drop-in meals, community kitchens and gardens, an after-school program, community action training and a community advocacy office. Their emergency food service is known as the Good Food Bank because they offer self-service shopping, organized to support healthy food choices. Three times a week at community meals they serve up nourishment and companionship. They have cooking and gardening sessions for all ages, as well as social justice and advocacy courses and services. Because their vision includes a sustainable food system in which everyone has access to good food and not just enough food, they are growing some of the food they need in their community garden and buying as much as possible from local producers and promoting their vital role in a healthy community.
Substantial changes have taken place organizationally as well. The Table has created a more robust employment policy, and volunteerism has doubled and now includes program participants. These changes occurred with extensive support, mentorship and training from CFCC staff, and a local community consultation process ensured a balance between CFCC expertise and community needs and experience.
More on The Table
+ Read The Table's 2015 Impact Summary [PDF]
+ Results from The Table: Pages from CFCC's 2012-2013 Progress Report [PDF]
+ Read this inspiring letter to the editor in the Perth Courier from a volunteer at The Table about his rewarding experience working ther
+ Read an Inside Ottawa Valley article depicting the positive impacts of The Table.
+ Watch Geraldine's story on how The Table has impacted her life: