Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer launches new projects to improve food security
The Marché Communautaire Aylmer, an initiative of the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer, has been providing access to fresh, high-quality produce in areas underserved by grocery stores, or in ‘food deserts’, in the Aylmer area since 2020. The initiative, which started as a weekly offering of local food at affordable prices around Aylmer during the pandemic, now offers residents a regular buying group, food basket project and nutritional education programs that aim to improve access to affordable and nutritious food.
The new “Marché Abordable” [affordable market] buying group project harnesses the collective purchasing power of community members, and keeps food prices affordable through bulk orders. Starting in early September, participating Aylmer residents were able to place food orders twice a month, online, in person or by phone. Orders are then delivered to the Group Communautaire Deschênes, a recent partner of the Marché Abordable. All Aylmer residents are welcome to participate in the project.
The Marche Communautaire Aylmer will also continue its educational projects around nutrition and healthy eating. Workshops for sharing recipes, cooking tips and knowledge around food are regularly made available to Aylmer residents and the Marché Communautaire is ready to support other initiatives around collective kitchens and opportunities for people to come together, have access to good food and share their knowledge in a festive environment. Additionally, as a pilot project this fall, 40 individuals with health problems or those at risk who would especially benefit from healthy eating will be selected to participate in a food basket program. The Marché Communautaire Aylmer, in consultation with a nutritionist, will prepare customized baskets for individuals, depending on their needs, for a period of 15 weeks.
These recent projects reflect the aim of the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer to reach a broad cross-section of Aylmer residents through diverse programs and create strong bonds between community members. Virginie Gauthier, the food security and health lifestyle program manager at the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer shared, “At Partenaires, we have projects that touch a wide range of spheres – new arrivals, families, youth, etc. It’s important that people understand our role because we wear many hats.” Concerning the organization’s vision for the buying group project, Gauthier emphasized the central role of community involvement: “We want this project to be led by the community, and for it to belong to the community. We hope to create a feeling of ownership among participants and to create stronger links with local producers. The vision is organic and we work every day to create more links in the community.”
To learn more about the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer’s food security projects, as well as to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email Virginie at email@example.com. Further information can also be found on the website at https://aylmerpourmoi.ca.
Caption: The Marché Communautaire Aylmer, an initiative of the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer. Photo credit: the Partenaires du Secteur Aylmer.