A donor who wishes to remain anonymous approached Hope Community Services (HCS) with an idea to support low-income households.
The donor had just shut down a business, and had around 100 planter towers left over.
The idea was to give the Australian Stackapots Megatubs 4-Layer Stacking Planters to HCS.
Eighty would be given to low-income households, filled with soil and veggie seeds/plants. The remaining planters would be sold to the public to raise money for the project.
“To improve their food security, and provide some good mental therapy,” the donor explained.
Planters were on sale Feb. 12 at the Hope Food Resource Centre at 888 3rd Avenue. They were priced at $97 apiece and sold well.
“There has been a tremendous amount of support for the project and some people are just donating money without necessarily buying a planter,” said HCS executive director Michele Thornhill. “We’ve already raised in excess of $1,800 and orders continue to pour in.”
In conversations she’s had so far with potential recipients of the free planters, reaction has been universally positive.
Thornhill said the project checks so many good boxes and fits with the Hope Food Resource Centre’s goal to provide more healthy foods.
“Half of our hampers now contain fresh vegetables and/or fruit, and we also offer eggs, milk and cheese, when we can afford it,” she said. “We give out non-perishable foods like beans, tuna, canned tomatoes, peanut butter. We don’t give out processed food and we stay away from a lot of stuff that’s filled with sugar and salt.
“This project really supports that, encouraging people to have their own fresh produce, and it will help them offset the rising cost of food now, and in the future.”
Thornhill said healthy eating creates healthier communities and eases the strain on the healthcare system.
“People who are food insecure have much higher rates of diet-related illnesses than the general population and they use the health care system about 121 per cent more,” she said. “We want to help shift that.”