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An exciting moment as the news is announced

The winning cheque
(L-R) Claude Anderson, April Robinson, Teresa Pearson and Thomas Dean

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Grey Bruce is overjoyed to announce one of its programs is the recipient of a major funding initiative.  

CMHA Grey Bruce’s food forest project has been named the community resilience category winner of the Aviva Community Fund, a national contest with 59 entries nationwide. Along with the top spot comes $100,000, which will be invested into the project.  

April Robinson, Fundraising & Event Coordinator excitedly holds the cheque

The food forest at St. George’s Park has been a community hub for three years. It includes a fruit orchard and 70 raised garden beds for vegetables, herbs and other edible plants.

Raised beds

CMHA Grey Bruce’s 12 client gardeners assist with planting, tending to and harvesting the crops. The fruit and vegetables are sold at local markets and used in a community brunch program that provides nutritional meals to about 60 people daily, Monday to Friday.  

(L-R) Thomas Dean, Teresa Pearson and Pat Reain

The branch will use the money to get a kick-start on implementing a three-year plan which includes hiring a horticulturalist, adding pathways, building a storage shed and herb-drying station, putting up new fencing to enclose the orchard, installing washrooms and building additional parking.  

Hot peppers one of the many crops grown

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 The food forest project secured a top-five spot in October thanks to a nationwide online voting campaign. 

“We can’t thank Aviva Canada enough for realizing the value of the food forest project and the impact it has on the community,” said Claude Anderson, Executive Director of CMHA Grey Bruce. “And of course we wish to thank the community and local media. We would not have made it to the finalist stage without all the local support and people voting relentlessly online.” 

“It’s truly inspiring to see the impact the food forest is making locally,” said Debora Hendrickson, Senior Vice President, Customer & Marketing of Aviva Canada. “CMHA Grey Bruce has not only been able to engage the community with this amazing initiative, but they’re also creating positive change in people’s lives.”  

About CMHA Grey Bruce:

Since 1963, CMHA Grey Bruce has played an important role in community-based programs, services, and public education. Our mission is to provide programs and services that support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental disorders, and to enhance, maintain, and promote the mental and emotional health of all individuals in Grey and Bruce counties. We are dedicated to improving the lives of people with lived experience of mental illness, yet our goal is also to achieve mental health for all. We accomplish this mission through advocacy, education, and services.  

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016