The Better Food Company growing fresh produce to help feed families in Guelph

The Better Food Company has launched a new initiative to help feed families facing food insecurity in Guelph.

The Seed-to-Table Project aims to improve the food system by growing produce in Hope House Guelph’s garden. The Better Food Company is a collaborative project between the charity Hope House and other local organizations.

“We’re hoping to produce around 15,000 pounds of produce over the summer and then in the fall will be sharing 750-plus meals across Guelph,” said Alex Glaros from The Better Food Company.

So far the group has planted dozens of red onion sets, with a plan to plant potatoes, carrots and leeks in the coming weeks.

Jaya James, the executive director at Hope House said access to healthy food is not always easy.

“A lot of the food that is in the system to support families that are food insecure tends to be high in sodium and sugar and not very healthy. That’s because they tend to have long shelf stability,” said James.

Food insecure families are becoming more common, according to James, who said 1 in 7 families are food insecure. James said pre-pandemic it was 1 in 9.

“A lot of these families are working but because of the increase in rent fuel and utilities, are finding it harder to make enough money to feed their families as well,” James said.

The project is looking for volunteers every week to help in the garden starting now until the end of the summer.

“In the fall we'll have people come into the kitchen. We're hoping for three people per day to come into the kitchen to help produce the meals that will be shared with the Guelph community,” said Glaros.

The Better Food Company said even if they just make a dent in the system, it will be worth it.

Anyone looking to volunteer can sign up through The Better Food Company website.