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Passion and Perseverance – A Winning Combination in Brooks August 17, 2010

Posted by gfsa in Community Stories.

The Food Coalition Society of Brooks is the “little organization that could”.  As a small non-profit organization it relies on the passion and perseverance of its volunteer board to keep things running.  But perhaps “running” is not the right description; it is more like sprinting!

To meet their vision of all families of Brooks and area having healthy food, the Food Coalition Society offers many programs and initiatives.  These include:
Cook Up Time – A very successful group cooking initiative where small groups of people pool their resources to make healthy, low cost, and delicious food in bulk that they take home to share with their families.  Cook Up Time is open to anyone interested in group cooking and is a fun way to learn, share and nurture friendships.  Babysitting is made available to ensure everyone can participate.

To address the incredible multi-cultural presence in Brooks (over 76 different languages are spoken!), the Food Coalition Society also offers Cook Up Time for immigrant groups.  This has been very successful as many new immigrants find it challenging to cook “Canadian Food” and struggle with language barriers.  Recipe interpretation and the welcoming and supportive atmosphere help make the program a success.

As if this were not already enough, a special Cook Up Time is also offered to people living with Celiac Disease.  This monthly gathering is an opportunity for members to support one another, learn where to shop and how to cook for a gluten-free diet, share recipes and enjoy a potluck meal together.

Fresh Food Club – A member and volunteer driven initiative that provides a monthly fresh food box to all members, including an informative newsletter with recipes and tips.

Living Loving Local!  This initiative highlights and promotes locally grown foods through a variety of means including a local farmer and producer listing on the Food Coalition Society web site and demonstrations at the local Farmer’s Market.

In addition to these programs and initiatives, the Food Coalition Society of Brooks also offers Cooking Classes, Community Dinners, and a newly designed informative web site. They are currently in the process of developing brochures and setting new goals and hope to begin working with schools in the future.

So how does this little volunteer board keep sprinting?  According to the group’s leader, Julie Musgrove, it is passion and perseverance that keeps the group going.  The board members are passionate about their mission and vision and driven to continue supporting food and food security in Brooks.  Julie also noted that the group works hard to build relationships and connections with various groups and organizations so resources can be shared.  

GFSA is proud to include Brooks as one of the Community Building for Food Security communities.  They certainly are an inspiration to many!  If you would like more information about the Food Coalition Society of Brooks contact Julie Musgrove at bjmus@eidnet.org or call 403-363-1048.

Submitted by Angie Dedrick with the help of Julie Musgrove



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