At the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (CHC), we strive to build food security in our community. Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to enough safe and nutritious foods that meet dietary and cultural needs to lead an active and healthy life. Food insecurity, therefore, is caused by a lack of access to food. In Waterloo Region, 10% of households struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity can lead to increases in chronic illnesses and poor mental health. Experiencing food insecurity in childhood leads to lower physical, mental, cognitive, and social health that affects quality of life. Food insecurity effects are beyond hunger, affecting the whole wellbeing of a person.
Our major gardening project currently in operation is the Kitchener Downtown CHC Demonstration Garden.
With support from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant, the Kitchener Downtown CHC has 5 raised garden beds on the corner of Francis Street South and Joseph Street, at the front entrance of our centre. The goal of these beds is to grow produce and educate on urban gardening. We had a late start to gardening this year, but we will still have an abundance of vegetables.