COMMONWELL MUTUAL INSURANCE GROUP
Since the Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group announced $10,000 was up for grabs in grants to community gardens, growers across Ontario have been applying and anxiously awaiting the final announcement of the recipients.
The SEEDit program is dedicated to increasing food security in Commonwell Country — the smaller places and wide open spaces in Ontario that the company serves. The first half of the program involves the funding of community garden projects through grants. The second half allows individuals to redeem $50 vouchers at local garden centres, which they can use to buy food-growing supplies and later enjoy and share fruits and vegetables with the broader community.
The program has been making waves across Ontario and its Facebook group has grown to over 2,000 members and counting. This year, the company reports that over $70,000 in grant applications were made by community groups of various kinds. After careful review of the applications, the Commonwell announced the recipients of the SEEDit 2022 Grant Program that they believe will be most impactful to their communities. Grants totalling $10,000 will be distributed to the following:
- Lakefield Community Garden — Lakefield
- Vankleek Hill Food Bank — Vankleek Hill
- Loughborough Public School Parent Council — Sydenham
- The Agape Centre — Cornwall
- South Lanark Community Garden — Lanark
- Gravenhurst Against Poverty — Gravenhurst
- St. Paul’s Centre — Orillia
- Town of Innisfil — Innisfil
- Environment Network — Collingwood ($1,000)
- The Salvation Army — Wiarton
- Prince Edward Learning Centre — Prince Edward County
- Evergreen Place Condominium — Fenelon Falls
“We feel like working with community gardens and individuals to provide real food security is an important cause at just the right time,” said Tim Shauf, president and CEO of the Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group. “It is truly rewarding to see citizens of Commonwell Country come together all over Ontario to support food banks and each other through the SEEDit Facebook group and by growing fresh produce for their communities.”
With food prices rising and families struggling to catch up, community gardens play an important role in community resiliency. Not only do they increase food security in the area, but also promote local agricultural practices that benefit the environment, encourage learning, and bring people together to support each other.