The Fresh Produce Box Solution

Mississauga residents find a solution to the problem of skyrocketing produce prices through Eden Food for Change’s Fresh Produce Box program.

In January 2014, the program officially launched as a way for people of all income levels to access fresh produce. Immediately, the number of orders steadily rose amongst a variety of groups in Mississauga.

In the last few weeks, with this recent rise in prices for fruits and vegetables, Eden Food for Change (EFFC) has seen their orders increase by almost 40%. In December 2015 there were 135 small boxes and 151 large boxes ordered. Within a month there were 202 small boxes and 237 large boxes ordered by people looking for a solution to the dramatic increase of produce seen at grocery stores.

“Our goal is to provide more good food for more people,” says EFFC’s Executive Director Bill Crawford. “Food that is financially cheap is often nutritionally cheap so we started this program to help give people struggling financially the option of healthy food at a more affordable rate than they would normally find.”

Food prices at the Ontario Food Terminal, where EFFC purchases the produce for their boxes, have by 36% in the last year. However, with a more concerted effort for price comparison and negotiations with food vendors, the organization has managed to maintain the same number of items in their Fresh Produce Boxes as last year.

Participants can expect around eight items in a $10 box with a $20 box providing an increased quantity of the same items, plus an additional two or three more items such as green beans and cauliflower.

“Many people think this is a fundraiser for our organization, but it isn’t. We only take 10% to cover our costs,” explains Crawford. “We also make sure that we only buy for the number of people that have ordered that week to ensure cost-efficiency.”

The program is open to anyone who is able to pick up their order at one of the six western Mississauga pick-up locations. Interested participants simply place their orders online at www.edenffc.org/fresh-oroduce-box by 4 pm on Thursdays.

Contents for the boxes are purchased early on Friday mornings and then assembled by a team of volunteers with the boxes ready for distribution by Friday afternoon. The contents of the box can vary slightly from week to week, but a greater variety is seen during the local growing season.

Eden Food for Change has been serving hungry families in western Mississauga for 25 years. The organization serves people through its two Food Bank locations, its Learning Kitchen and Fresh Produce Box program and has a vision of Good Food For All!

Trees for Streams

Have you ever wondered what happens to Christmas trees once they are put out on the curb? You may be surprised to learn, that some are used in stream restoration projects in the Credit River. Since 2008, CVC staff in partnership with the Region of Peel have collected Christmas trees curb-side.

As rivers flow, they naturally erode and deposit sediment creating a meandering path. Sensitive fish species like brook trout depend on cold, clean water. This occurs in well vegetated, stable streams where natural erosion processes have created calm, deep pools separated by faster moving currents in rapids. Some land practices such as the removal of plants and shrubs along river banks change these dynamics.  That’s where the old Christmas trees come in.  CVC has been working on a stretch of river at Upper Credit Conservation Area in partnership with local stewardship organizations to narrow the shoreline that had been damaged by cattle. Using natural forces, trees are strategically positioned on the side of the river where sediments would naturally deposit. The many branches act like a net catching sediment. As a result the meandering path and natural width of the river are restored at a faster rate.  The success of this project can be seen from the bridge at Upper Credit (pictured here).  In some areas, the river was 20 meters wide and has been narrowed by half.  

Landowners with streams running through their property can affect water quality on site and downstream. Planting native plants and shrubs such as red-osier dogwood, white cedar and willow shrubs and maintaining an unmown strip of vegetation shades water keeping it cool and improves fish habitat. To learn more about caring for your land and water and projects such as stream restoration, attend an upcoming workshop.

If you want to learn more about the project at Upper Credit, visit the Countryside Stewardship Connection and click on the Trees for Streams topic.

Stellar Director for Stellar Comedy

The next offering in Theatre Erindale’s “Silver Season” is Wendy Wasserstein’s hilarious and insightful comedy Uncommon Women and Others. And in the guest director’s chair is one of the most distinguished artists in Canada, Diana Leblanc.

The show runs January 21-31 at the Erindale Studio Theatre.

In the late ’70s, five vivid personalities look back on their years at prestigious Mount Holyoke College and others join them in flashback to steer through the minefield of the changing past and present – as the women they were become the women they are.

The play pulls no punches, either in its wicked sense of comedy, or in depicting a decade that brought radical change.

Swoozie Kurtz, Glenn Close, and Meryl Streep starred in the original stage and screen versions; now it’s time for the next generation to step into their shoes!

“You leave the theatre caring deeply about its characters,” said the New York Post. The Times called the play “exuberant … funny … acute … The main emphasis is upon the lacerations, hopes, despairs and confusions that the times inflict upon these students.”

Semi-autobiographical, Uncommon Women and Others was Wendy Wasserstein’s thesis production at the Yale School of Drama. It was immediately picked up for full production, then moved to Broadway and on to PBS with the same legendary cast. Wasserstein’s subsequent writing career climaxed with two more Broadway hits in a row: The Heidi Chronicles (1988 – winner of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, and scheduled for Soulpepper this May co-starring TDS grad Paolo Santalucia), and The Sisters Rozensweig (1992 – Outer Critics Circle Award).

A member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame, she died of lymphoma in 2006. “I believe I had the confidence to become a playwright” she once said “because I learned at Mount Holyoke the value of an individual woman’s voice.”

“It is a rare and happy occasion,” says Leblanc, “that allows you to direct a group of student actors in a production where all except one play characters their own age … [and] in a life situation which resembles their own. Graduation. Facing a world they have been preparing for and, at the same time, one which they have been sheltered from.”

Leblanc has received nationwide acclaim as an actress and director for theatre, opera, film and television. She is a member of the National Theatre School of Canada’s first graduating class, a member of the original Neptune Theatre (Halifax) company, a former artistic director of Théâtre français de Toronto, and a founding member of Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company. She has won (among others) a Gemini Award, the Silver Ticket Dora Mavor Moore Award, and the Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.

Uncommon Women and Others runs January 21-31 at the Erindale Studio Theatre on the UTM campus. Single tickets are $12 or $18. Mississauga Transit Routes 44 and 110 will take you to the campus, and Parking in the CCT Garage is $6.00.

Audiences should be prepared to laugh a lot and gasp a little, as well as for sexual content and realistically coarse language.

For further information, call the Box Office at 905-569-4369 or visit www.theatreerindale.com

VAM CELEBRATES CREATIVE SENIORS ACROSS CITY OF MISSISSAUGA

Mississauga, ON – Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) at Riverwood is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors from across the City of Mississauga who have recently participated in the organization’s acclaimed Art Reach for Older Adults Program. VAM is hosting several art exhibitions this week that showcase the creative works of senior groups including the Region of Peel’s Malton Village Adult Day Centre, Peel Senior Link and Credit Valley Seniors. All are welcome to the Credit Valley Senior’s art exhibit happening Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 1pm, at South Common Community Centre located at 2233 South Millway, Mississauga, Ontario.


“VAM has had fantastic support for our new program which is designed to enrich the lives of older adults with visual arts,” explains VAM Executive Director Annis Karpenko. “We were pleased to offer four months of subsidized art workshops to seniors with Peel Senior Link, The Region of Peel’s Malton Village Adult Day Centre and the Credit Valley Seniors. We are completing our pilot program by celebrating the accomplishments of our seniors with exhibits at each of our centres.”  
 
ArtReach for Older Adults offers exciting art workshops under the guidance of professional artist instructors to older adult centers across the City of Mississauga.  This program has brought the creative experiences offered at VAM out into the community and has inspired and built confidence in individuals that might not have regular access to VAM’s programs. Art Reach for Older Adults encourages social participation and inclusion for older adults while promoting volunteerism.

After the success of this pilot program, VAM is pleased to now offer ArtReach for Older Adults to senior clubs and groups throughout the Region of Peel. Groups can book a one-time session (for up to 12 people) for $180, a mini-series (4 sessions) or a full-series (8 sessions). Senior clubs and groups are welcome to visit http://www.visualartsmississauga.com/education/artreach-for-older-adults/, call 905-277-4313 or email artreach@visualartsmississauga.com for more details.

Art Reach for Older Adults is made possible with generous funding provided through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.  ArtReach for Older Adults is presented with support from the City of Mississauga, Mississauga Seniors Council, Peel Senior Link and the Region of Peel.

ABOUT VISUAL ARTS MISSISSAUGA AT RIVERWOOD:  VAM was founded in 1978 and strives to enrich community life by fostering an appreciation of the arts through active involvement in a variety of creative experiences. VAM offers a variety of studio arts courses for adults, teens and children as well as summer camps, school programs, exhibitions, Artsy Parties and ArtReach for schools and corporate team-building. Please visit www.visualartsmississauga.com for more details.

Mayor Crombie Marks New Year’s 2016

“On behalf of the City of Mississauga and Members of Council, I join with all residents to mark New Year’s 2016.

“New Year’s is filled with the promise of hope. It is an opportunity to pursue long-held resolutions for personal improvement, maintain commitment, demonstrate self-discipline, and to achieve and exceed these goals.

“Reflecting on the past twelve months, I remain humbled and honoured to represent the compassionate, hardworking and dynamic people of our great City.

“Working with Council, we are addressing a number of leading issues for Mississauga residents, including: building regionally-integrated transit by securing full funding from the Wynne government for the new Hurontario LRT; igniting new economic development opportunities with the launch of the Mississauga International Partnership Program Committee (MIPP); and fostering a more dynamic, open and inclusive community, with the work undertaken by the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

“I am proud of what has been accomplished. I am mindful that we have only just begun and that there still remains much more work to be done – this is my resolution for the year ahead.

“2016 already promises to be an exciting year for Mississauga. For the first time ever, Mississauga will host the Ontario Summer Games. Our City will welcome athletes, coaches, managers, teams and officials from across the province this August.

“While we usher in this New Year, let us not forget those in our community in need of additional care and support. Unfortunately, the need remains high all year at our community food banks. Local charities always welcome donations so they may continue providing essential services.

“I ask all residents to please be generous with their time. I encourage Mississaugans to engage in random acts of kindness. It could be helping a neighbour shovel their driveway; volunteering toward an important cause; or simply picking up litter to keep our streets clean. It is up to all of us to strengthen our neighbourhoods and make our City an even better place to call home.

“Let me once again offer my best wishes for a very happy, safe, memorable and prosperous New Year!”

2016 Mayor’s New Year’s Levee:

You are invited to meet and greet with Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Members of Council inside Council Chamber with photo opportunities available, enjoy a free public skate on Mississauga Celebration Square’s outdoor ice rink, local entertainment, and more!

What: Mayor’s New Year’s Levee
When: Sunday, January 3, 2016, 2 – 4 p.m.
Meet and greet will take place from 2 – 3:15 p.m.
Where: Civic Centre – 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga
Who: Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Members of Council