WATCH ABOVE: The North End Harvest Market is located in a low income neighborhood in Guelph, Ont. The market provides local families in need with fresh fruits and vegetables at no charge. See more in the latest Making A Difference.
TORONTO – The North End Harvest Market in Guelph, Ont. offers free fruits and vegetables to low income individuals and families.
Barb McPhee, the manager of the market, was instrumental in setting it up a year ago on the grounds of Waverley Drive Public School.
“I was raised in poverty, so being able to give back is very important and I can do that here,” said McPhee.
“I can do whatever it takes to make people happy.”
The market runs year round, every Wednesday, rain or shine, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It’s made possible with the help of the kind hearts of dedicated volunteers, as well as community organizations like the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition.
“The reason we wanted to be involved in the North End Harvest Market is because we knew there was a need in this community for fresh food for people and we wanted to make that happen,” said Brendan Johnson, the Executive Director of the GNSC.
On any given week, the volunteers serve more than 150 people in the area.
Amanda Gudino, a mother of four, has now been attending the market twice a week for about a year.
“It has helped out immensely,” said Gudino.
“It’s relieved a lot of the pressure off of our grocery bill every week. We’re able to eat healthier and not have to worry about the cost.”
The market is a welcoming place for people who are struggling to put good nutritious food on the table. McPhee and her team receive donations from partners such as the Guelph United Ministries and Hope House, in order to buy the food for the market.
“In a perfect world we wouldn’t need this market — that people would be able to buy their own food,” said Johnson.
“But in the meantime we want a place of dignity, and fun, and respect for people to come and get food.”