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Local2SaultYouth: Totatoes and Pomatoes

Steffanie Date, Sault Youth Association for local2 sault ste. marie
June 11th, 2011 at 9:10am

This article is a column or editorial.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LOCAL2.


Credit: Jake Zaccaria

The Roots to Youth Initiative received a generous boost from Club Calabrese yesterday. The Roots to Youth Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Sault Youth Association and Pauline’s Place. Funded through the Ministry of Health Promotion, the initiative aims to increase healthy lifestyles among youth. And just as importantly, creates opportunities for young people to strengthen their social networks in the community.

Adam Strider, the Roots to Youth Coordinator commented, “Roots to Youth isn't simply about developing gardens, it's creating opportunities to engage our local young people in the community both at large and with each other. It’s about providing food but also support where it’s needed to empower youth to direct their lives and also their community involvement.”


Albert Novello meets Youths to Roots Gardener. In the background, Dave Thompson. Sault Youth Association Board Chair
Credit: Jake Zaccaria

Albert Novello, Club Calabrese president, presented a very generous cheque that will supplement operating expenses for three gardens. “We’re a small club but we look for ways to give to the community. Gardening is an important part of our culture and I think this is a meaningful way for us to help our young people.”

youth 3

Credit: Jake Zaccaria

In addition to the beautiful garden at Pauline’s Place that feels like a sanctuary, youth gardeners will be working on gardens located at Community Living Algoma and Algoma University. An additional focus of the Roots to Youth Initiative will be to fill cupboards with preserves. Having enough to put on the table can be a struggle for a young person or university student existing on a limited income.

Recognizing the challenges associated with lower incomes experienced by youth, the Roots to Youth initiative will offer healthy cooking classes designed to teach participants how to prepare meals that are healthy and delicious as well as economical.

“Too often a healthy nutritious diet seems unattainable to low income earners. Through the Roots to Youth Initiative we aim to show youth how to overcome that challenge so that they can meet their nutritious needs on a low-budget,” stated Amie Harnish, a Community Outreach Coordinator with the Sault Youth Association.

The Roots to Youth Initiative is supported by numerous community organizations and individuals. A variety of fitness classes, cooking instruction and gardening supplies have been donated to enrich the experience of all participants. Kelly Burton, owner of Cafe Natura, has generously donated her professional kitchen to host Roots to Youth cooking classes. “I really believe in being engaged in the community. I’m not just a business owner, I’m also a mother. I’m happy that I am able to support this effort that benefits all youth.”

*To learn more about the Roots to Youth Initiative or to find out how you can contribute please contact Steffanie at steffanie@saultyouthassociation.com


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