Urban Pantry Barrie is a community food program currently operating out of the Canadian Mental Health Association-Simcoe County. Thanks to a Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Urban Pantry is building new community gardens, delivering community cooking classes, and expanding the Good Food Box program.
Urban Pantry has built four community gardens in Barrie to date with three more are planned in the coming years. Two wellness gardens were built at CMHA locations for client and staff use. A community garden at Barrie Housing was built for residents to grow their own food through a mixture of individual and shared plots. The Shear Park community garden was built as part of the City of Barrie’s Community Garden Program. It consists of eighteen plots available for rent by Barrie residents. The next garden will be built in October 2019 at Eastview Park.
The community cooking classes operate out of three community partner locations: Barrie Community Health Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, and Barrie Free Methodist Church. The classes run in six-week sessions and cycle through the three locations. The classes are free for participants and focus on healthy eating, inspired by the Good Food Box program.
The Good Food Box is a community buying program for fresh wholesale produce. The box is $17 and available for anyone in the community to purchase. Each box comes with an assortment of seasonal fruits and vegetables, local when possible. There are always potatoes, onions, carrots and apples which are sourced from Ontario all twelve months of the year. The rest of the items vary each month depending on seasonal availability.
The Urban Pantry is always looking for more volunteers and community partners so if you’re interested or want more information, check out their website.