Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The Good Food Club

Spirit of Giving

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What they do:

The Good Food Club has charitable status, but doesn't exactly give things away for free, since its low-income members put in sweat equity for their food. "It's a hand up rather than a handout," West Broadway Development Corp. executive director Molly McCracken said. The club helps its members "improve their lives and improve their resumés," she said. "Good Food Club is a place where people can get together and feel part of the community and supplement their standard of living."

Members pay a share going into the club. Each time they volunteer at the Wiens Shared Farm near St. Adolphe in the summer months, or help with monthly food box assembly, they earn points towards boxes of locally grown foods like tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, fruit, oats and honey.

"So there's a little more dignity in our program than other food banks," co-ordinator Tammy Klos said.

Hopes for the holidays:

December's food boxes will include the usual fresh produce, plus bonus Christmas goodies like chocolate and candy canes. While many charities have annual holiday feasts in December, the Good Food Club holds off on its feast until the New Year. "We have it January to have something to fight the winter blues," said McCracken. Last year, 75 people attended the dinner and the club hopes to attract more this year.

How to help:

Low-income people can help the club by joining for $5 and volunteering to earn food. The club is always looking for funding, so you can donate at CanadaHelps.org and get a tax-deductible receipt.

Good Food Club's holiday meal takes place at 6 p.m. Jan. 11, at 185 Young St. Cost: $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Contact: 774-7201, ext. 6.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 18, 2010 B3

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