According to the latest “Who’s Hungry” report by the Daily Bread Food Bank, food bank visits in Toronto are back to levels seen during the height of the recession, almost ten years ago.
Kate Halsey, a food bank coordinator for Yonge Street Mission in Regent Park, reports that they register 3 new users on a daily basis, “ranging from newcomers to Canada who have Master’s and PhD degrees, but not enough money for food; people who go back to school and are paying tuition; and people who are just trying to make ends meet at the end of the month. It could be anyone, it could be your neighbor, it could be your grandmother, your best friend. It could also be the man on the corner. There’s not a population we serve more than others.”
Indeed, many of our own co-op members may be going without proper nourishment.
With this in mind, DFC is launching the Nourish program, aimed at alleviating the food gap for our own co-op members who may be in need. Nourish will be funded through internal and external donations, that will enable us to maintain and allocate $25.00 grocery gift cards to members, by request, as needed. All requests are strictly confidential, and can be made to Ali or Ryan, starting in early December.
All members have to do is ask.
The co-op will be accepting monetary donations from members who are able to contribute to the Nourish fund. If members were planning on giving a holiday gift to staff, we ask that you please consider a Nourish donation instead. No amount is too small, and all donations will be gratefully accepted. Please stay tuned for more details about how to donate.
Tuesday August 28, 1pm – 3pm in the Community Room
DFC will be hosting its next Expressive Writing Group on Tuesday June 26 with the ever amazing Honey Novick. All members are welcome to attend. No experience or background in writing is required! Just be willing share your thoughts and be creative!
We’ll use a different approach to self-expression
We’ll talk and write and share what’s important to us
Each voice is important, each story a tale to tell
We’ll create a safe and fun atmosphere
For more information please contact
Ryan Hayward 416 920 7340 x204
Last night our professional bee keepers
brought down 2 frames from our roof top apiary accommodation to the community room for us to work on.
We set about taking turns at de-capping the combs: that is lifting off the top portion of the cells to allow the honey to be spun out. It is a delicate job. We used an uncapping fork with small teeth. (In the larger industry they might use a hot knife.) You don’t want to dig too deep. The comb underneath should be kept intact, as much as possible. It will be returned to the hive where our busy little worker bees will tidy it up and refill it, rather than having to build whole new combs on the frame. This saves time and energy for our hive.
Once de-cap-itated the frames were moved to the extractor and we each had our turn at working the crank handle and spinning the honey free of the wax comb. Centrifugal force caused it to run down the sides of the extractor where it was filtered to catch errant pieces of wax. Each frame had to be spun twice to remove all the golden goodness from both sides. Two frames roughly 1 ft X 2.5 ft each produced a surprising amount of honey, possibly, forgiving my metric math, 2 kg or 4 lbs +/-.
It was filtered again before each individual small bottle (maybe 4 oz?) was filled from a spout and capped for future enjoyment. Each hive produces a unique flavour of honey. There are the standard flavours, of course, clover and buckwheat. But here we seem to have a unique Cabbagetown flavour. Our 8th floor rooftop hive had definite hints of pepper! David, with the small ground level hive used for our demos, reports mint overtones to his honey.
I’m not sure what they do with the wax from the de-cap-itating but I gathered a good measure in a plastic glass. This morning I found a lovely little puddle of even more honey in the bottom of the glass. Someone recommended adding the comb wax to hot cereals like oatmeal. Those bees work so hard making the stuff there have to be microscopic nutrients in there.
We have 10 more frames to harvest, which the professionals, Alvéole will do for us.
Ryan and Alvéole
estimate that we may see 13 kg of honey from our hive. That’s 28 lbs.
The honey will be sold in the Bleecker lobby later this fall. Ryan thought we could put the funds towards installing another hive in the courtyard!
Now that is one sweet plan to get buzzed about.
What is the Helping Hands Program?
The aim of the program is to pair senior co-op members (or co-op members experiencing some mobility challenges) with other members who can help with basic errands or chores. Some examples of the kinds of support might be:
o Picking up groceries / supplies
o Picking up prescriptions
o Assisting with light household projects (i.e. moving some furniture etc)
o Accompanying individual to important appointments
o What volunteers can’t do: Banking, Laundry, Personal Care, Routine House Cleaning
How does it work?
o Once you are confirmed to be taking part in the program you will contact me directly with some specific help / assistance that you might need and when you need it (advance planning is key).
o I will then reach out to co-op members that have offered their help and see who is available to assist. Once an effective match is made, I will put the two members in touch with each other.
Right now we would like to hear from members who might need some support AND members who can provide some support. If you would like to take part in this program or would like to get more information, please feel free to contact me directly.
Community Projects Coordinator
Diane Frankling Housing Co-op
416 920 7340 x204 / firstname.lastname@example.org