The funding from Tree Canada finally took root, as volunteers and staff planted 40 more trees on Thursday, October 30.
The initiative is supported by a grant from the Edible Trees program, which provides grants of up to $4,000 to municipalities, schools, and community gardens to purchase, plant, and maintain fruit and nut trees.
“The trees planted will become valuable sources of healthy food for these communities,” said Michael Rosen, Tree Canada President.
The Agapè Centre added more variety to their young fruit forest with two more kinds of apples and plums on the property of Fountaingate Christian Assembly, and they’re not stopping there. They’ll be planting over 100 more fruit trees in the spring, believing that good food has the power to build healthy communities.
A team of six volunteers from Canada World Youth, a group of 17 young adults from across Vietnam and Canada who are spending two months volunteering in Cornwall, joined two Agapè Centre staff members to help with the planting process.
Ha Luong, a 21 year-old Vietnamese youth in Canada with the exchange program, has been involved with similar projects in his home country, and sees the importance of an organization like a food bank or soup kitchen growing their own food.
“With other volunteers, we had great time there digging and planting several kinds of trees,” he said. “But besides fun, it is not only about some more trees appearing in this area, but also about raising public awareness about the food supply, and later get involved in Agape’s activities to help local residents.”
The low-maintenance trees, grown specifically to thrive pesticide-free in the Canadian climate, will bear fruit within the next three to five years, and will provide fresh, local and organically grown food for those in our community who are living on low incomes and rely on the Agapè Centre.
“We greatly appreciate the support from Tree Canada and the young people who volunteered in the garden,” said Alyssa Blais, executive director for the Agapè Centre. “Without their help, we would not be able to have planted all these trees.”
Last fall, the charity that feeds over 200 people a day planted 100 dwarf apple and pear trees, as well as 100 seedless grape vines, with the generous donation from Medical Arts Pharmacy.