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Harvest, Asper partner up for new training facility

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Winnipeg Harvest is getting a financial boost to help more of its clients and community members ready for the job market.

On Wed., April 17, The Asper Foundation announced $100,000 of capital funding towards the Asper Learning & Friendship Village at the province’s largest food bank.

The centre, which includes eight new computers for users, will build upon the life skills and job-readiness training Harvest already provides for its clients, as well as youth, immigrants and low-income families in the community.

"It was not a big stretch for us to see the opportunity," foundation chair David Asper said at a press conference last week.

Asper also pledged $25,000 in operating funding for three years as part of the announcement.

The money is expected to help people like Rebecca Froese, who came to Harvest as a volunteer in 2004.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a teen, Froese said finding employment had been difficult because of her condition.

After moving through different positions in the warehouse, Froese took up cooking classes and earned her safe food handling certificate through Harvest.

She soon found work at Bistro 7 ¼ at 725 Osborne St.

"I have a job I absolutely love," Froese said.

"Harvest has helped me immensely."

David Northcott, executive director of Winnipeg Harvest, said the new facility will help clients become more self-sufficient as they learn to build their computer literacy skills to find and land jobs.

"This is a deep, honest and powerful route to move forward," he said.

The funding announcement was timed for April 17 to mark the 21st anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms being signed into law, and the 10-year anniversary of Israel Asper announcing the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Winnipeg Harvest is located at 1085 Winnipeg Ave.

— Staff

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