Call for Applications
Community Harvest Kingston (CHK), which operates under Loving Spoonful’s Urban Agriculture umbrella, grows vegetables locally at three urban farm locations and works to enhance access to this fresh, agro-ecologically grown food for marginalized communities in Kingston. We run two weekly “affordable access” farmers’ markets (where all items on the table are $0-5, sliding scale and with a “pay what you can” ethos) from June – October.
We are seeking individuals to join our Advisory Council to strengthen our organizational capacity, and we would like to take leadership from individuals who have faced or are currently facing food insecurity and from those who have experience working with organizations with anti-poverty and anti-oppressive, intersectional food and social justice mandates to guide us in our planning and growth for the project.
Advisory Council Members’ Responsibilities
- Attend and contribute to productive & concise monthly meetings that are chaired by Community Harvest staff
- Commitment of 4 – 5 hours per month for meetings, emails, and tasks
- Provide expertise or advice in specific related areas such as anti-poverty, food security and/or food sovereignty, community connections, promotions, soil health, climate resilience, orchard management, etc.
- Help special projects move from planning to implementation to evaluation (ex. Our upcoming Food Forest)
- Fundraise for CHK
- Serve as an advocate for CHK
- The first meeting of Advisory Council is slated for March 2023
Our 2023 funding is currently in place. We received the following grants – the bullet items under each granting body explain the application’s promises and funding parameters:
- Community Foundation Kingston & Area
- Build Advisory Council
- Pilot new models for agricultural training and engagement in the gardens, including regularly scheduled drop-in sessions
- Formalize partnerships with other organizations to deliver educational programming (Pathways to Education, Extend-A-Family)
- For materials and supplies; for CH Farmer’s salary
- C.B. Powell Foundation
- Will contribute to CH Farmer’s salary, a contract Garden Facilitator’s wages, and supplies
- L.E.A.F Commonwell
- Funds to cover orchard plantings, CH Farmer’s salary, and contract Garden Facilitator’s wages, and other supplies
- Community Investment Fund (United Way and City of Kingston)
- For materials and supplies – allocated to the development of the new CH Food Forest
Community Harvest started in 2005 as a group of community members working to increase food security for individuals and families in Rideau Heights. They were motivated into action by the closure of the only grocery store in the North end, further marginalizing the neighbourhood and decreasing food security (Rideau Heights is defined as Railway St. to Hwy 401 and Division St. to the Cataraqui River).
In 2007, renamed the Community Harvest Working Group, they conducted a survey that indicated that many people in the Rideau Heights neighbourhood wanted better access to healthy food. 64.3% of respondents from the area indicated that they would shop at a farmers’ market in their neighbourhood. They identified 4 goals for Rideau Heights when they started the Community Harvest Market in 2009:
- To increase people’s consumption of vegetables and fruit by providing neighbourhood residents with easy geographical access to fresh, local, and healthy foods, and to educate them about markets and locally-produced food.
- To enhance economic access to fresh fruits and vegetables for residents living on a limited income.
- To foster social relationships and build community.
- To support local farmers and artisans. Being open on Sundays, the Community Harvest Market provided an alternative day for producers to sell their wares.
The Community Harvest Market ran from May – October each year at the Wally Elmer Community Centre (from 2009 until 2015, when Wally Elmer was demolished) In addition to vendors and community tables, there was also free food, live entertainment, and children’s activities with special events 3 times per year.
From 2015 -2019, the market ran at St. Matthew’s United Church.
In 2020, Community Harvest pivoted away from the market model in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and ran a Community Supported Agriculture box, feeding 32 families biweekly.
In 2021 the market returned, moving in front of Rideau Heights Community Centre.
In 2022, Community Harvest moved from being administered by KCHC, to a Loving Spoonful program, and achieved the following:
- CHK expanded from one 4800 square foot garden to three urban farm locations (in Kingscourt, Calvin Park, and Rideau Heights) totalling 7784 square feet or about one fifth of an acre.
- We added a second market in Calvin Park neighbourhood to best meet the needs of newcomer populations, and we continued to run our Rideau Heights market (at a new and hopefully permanent location, Kingston Community Health Centre (KCHC) to best meet the needs of low-income community members.
- We grew more than 70 crops and 2400 lbs of food! Food that wasn’t sold at the market was distributed through Loving Spoonful’s Local Food Access Stands or used in our Community Kitchens programs, strengthening the local food access and literacy in our organization.
- We connected with people in educational garden engagement opportunities, such as with youth from the Pathways to Education and Immigrant Services Kingston & Area (ISKA) Climate Resilience Group, and with adults with developmental disabilities from the Extend-A-Family Adult Day Program.
- We learned that we are successful in teaching gardening and food skills: 80% of volunteers reported that their involvement in Community Harvest taught them new skills.
Apply to Join our Advisory Council!
If you value the type of work we do at Community Harvest and believe you could contribute in an advisory capacity, please apply to join the Advisory Council. Depending on the number of applicants, we may need to be selective for best fit and to fill out the council with a variety of skills, but we welcome all applications and sincerely appreciate your interest. Everyone who applies will receive a response.
Check out the Community Harvest website for more information.
If you have questions, please contact Marie Bencze, Community Harvest Farmer (since 2020), email@example.com
Apply using our Google Form here by February 17, 2023 at 4:30pm. Thank you!