- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- London Food Co-op
- Cornells Farm and Market
- Jansen U-Pick
- O'Shea Farm
- Thomas Bros. Produce Inc.
- Saunders Family Farm
- Sunnivue Farm
- The Glen Community Resource Centre
- London First Christian Reformed Church
- Department of Community and Social Services
- Centre of Hope, Community Services
- St.Paul's Cathedral, Daily Bread
- London and Area Food Bank
- Youth Action Centre
- Glen Cairn Resource Centre
- Chalmer's Presbyterian Church
- Strathroy Salvation Army
- Caring Cupboard
- Youth Action Centre
- Ark Aid
- Sisters of St.Joseph's
- Memorial Boys and Girls Club
- Meals-on-Wheels London
- Food Banks
Food, a basic human necessity, is more often priced as a luxury. The high cost of housing, coupled with inadequate and low incomes, makes it difficult for some of us to adequately feed our families and ourselves. Some of us do without altogether, for days or weeks at a time.
Rent, heat, and hydro are often set amounts of money, which you cannot change. Other costs related to things such as transportation, insurance, emergencies, or medical needs, often are covered at the expense of our food budgets. Our food budgets are often the only money we can control, as limited as that may be.
On limited income, people tend to consume more carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, pasta), as they are less expensive to buy, and fill us up. However, diets consisting primarily of carbohydrates do not provide us with the nutrition required to balance our bodies and minds. The following programs and services offer ways to stretch food budgets to include well-balanced, nutritious meals. There is also information about food that is important for us as consumers to know, and shopping tips to reduce our expenses.
It is important for us to know what our bodies need nutritionally, and how we can acquire that nutrition, particularly on a limited budget. Providing our bodies with proper nutrition improves physical and emotional health, energy, concentration, and other brain functions. There are services that can help you to assess your particular nutritional needs, and make suggestions to your meal planning and preparation.
50 King Street
Adult Nutrition ext. 2220/ Children ext. 2280
Offers for FREE:
- Dieticians available to answer nutrition questions by telephone
- Supermarket tours focusing on heart health
- Workshops on how to make your own baby food
- Information about starting a Collective Kitchen
- Healthy Eating Literature
- The Health Unit’s website at www.healthunit.com provides links to all of their services, including Healthy Living
A note on Organic Foods: Organically grown foods are grown without pesticides or chemicals. This means that they are produced without harming the environment, and that we can eat them without eating pesticides and chemicals. Organically grown fruits and vegetables are much higher in nutrients than non-organic, and have better flavours. This means that we get better value for our money when we purchase organically, rather than commercially.
Food Buying Collectives
What? A buying collective is a group of people (5 or more) who pool their money together to order groceries in bulk and have them delivered to one specific site.
Why? The idea is that by pooling money, people can gain access to food at wholesale prices. Purchasing through this method you can:
- Save 40-60% on your food purchases each month
- Arrange for delivery in your neighbourhood
- Buy what you need or what you want. There are no minimum or maximum amounts.
- Gain access to quality name brands, and fresher produce.
621 Princess Ave
- Offers the largest selection in London of high quality, organic food and products, at 18% above wholesale cost.
- Carries items for specialty diets, vitamins, supplements, cleaning and hygiene products
- To become a member of the Co-op you pay a weekly service fee, or you may work one 3-hour shift (for a family) per month instead of paying the service fee. Choosing to work instead of paying the fee also gives you added work experience, and a chance to meet other people in your community.
- See the website at http://londonfoodcoop.org/for updated information on London Co-op
- Email: email@example.com
Pick-Your-Own farms and orchards offer an opportunity to choose your own produce right off the tree, or from the ground. This shopping alternative is a great bargain economically, and ensures fresh produce. You can also call or visit your local Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Office, or an Ontario Travel Information Centre for information regarding local participating farms. During harvest season, the classified section in local newspapers will also have locations for nearby farms.
To make the most of a pick-your-own experience:
- Have a group of people to share a vehicle for transportation
- Pool your money together to purchase larger amounts of produce
- Organize a collective kitchen experience with your group to stew, can, freeze your produce. You can make large batches of pasta sauce, pies, soups, etc. and store them for future use. Child friendly farms are welcoming and safe for children to visit and participate with their families.
The following are just a couple of near-by farms to London offering pick-your own. Call farms before heading out for operating times and directions.
The children will not be exposed to pharmaceuticals and science lab manufactured pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified seeds, which are common on non-organic farms.
McSmith's Organic Farm
42828 Shorlea Line, RR # 6
(Between London & St. Thomas)
St. Thomas, Ontario
Open Saturdays 10:00 to 2:00 year round. Child-friendly
Janssens Farm Market & U Pick
5885 Falconbridge Drive, at Ekfrid & Concession 3, APPIN (London), N0L 1A0
Fruits - Vegetables - Berries - Child-friendly
Hours: year round: 8am - 8pm; winter 9am - 6pm
- Market Items: apples, cider
- PYO Items: strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, gooseberries, peppers, apples
Community Shared or Supported Agriculture (CSA) combines the efforts of consumers and growers to share food. A CSA project can start with a group of consumers or a farmer, or through an already existing CSA farm offering shares to consumers. Once the connection is made, the relationship is based on a contract between the consumer and farmer. The consumer purchases a ‘share’, which is equivalent to a weekly supply of vegetables and herbs for a family of four during the growing season, and root storage crops during the winter.
The following farms also have organic chicken, eggs, honey, etc:
Wonderland Rd North
(1/2 mile south of hwy#7)
27093 New Ontario Road, R.R. #1,
Sunnivue Farm is held in trust by the ROSE Land Care Association with the aims of protecting agricultural land, supporting organic biodynamic farming and gardening, building bridges between the urban and rural communities, and providing a wholesome and therapeutic environment where families and school classes as well as helpers and apprentices can visit and experience farm work.
The farmers, Alex and Ellinor Nurnberg maintain a market garden as well as a dairy barn populated by water buffalo. From April until December, their farm store is open on Fridays between 3:00 and 6:00 and Saturdays between 9:00 and 4:00, and during the winter deliveries are made to London and other nearby locations. The store offers a wide range of organic produce and meats from the farm, home-baked breads, eggs, and a number of other items, including fair trade coffee, honey, maple syrup, beeswax candles, cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream.
Collective kitchens involve groups of people coming together on a regular basis (once a month, once a week – depending on the needs of the group) to plan, budget, shop and cook a number of different meals, in large enough amounts to be stored for themselves and their families. Cooking with a collective kitchen saves time, money, and energy. It provides you with the opportunity to meet new people, try new foods, share resources and information with others, and is fun! It can be a very helpful way to make it through tough times, when money and resources may be short.
You can start your own collective kitchen in your community, or join one already underway. If you want to start a collective kitchen, there are kitchens in your neighbourhood that you may be able to use. Churches, community centres, and schools have cooking space to share, all you have to do is ask. To find a collective kitchen that is already up and running that you may be able to join, contact:
Monthly dinners ~ we gather to cook at 5:00 and then share the feast together
Monthly meals are posted in upcoming events and on our facebook page.
244 Adelaide Street South
London, ON N5Z 3L1
This community centre is also a good resource for joining or starting up a collective kitchen.
Talbot Street Church
531 Talbot Street, London, N6A 2S5
Community gardens are a similar idea to collective kitchens, and also offer the benefits of saving money, having fun, pooling resources, and learning new skills. Community garden plots are available throughout neighbourhoods in London. You don’t need any prior knowledge regarding growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, as experienced growers help you throughout the process of planning, designing and caring for your garden.
255 Horton Street
3rd Floor, Suite 1
London, Ontario N6B 1L1
v Administers shared garden plots throughout the city.
v Rental of lot is geared to income: $10 – 40 for 400 – 600 sq. ft. space, for the entire growing season.
v Tools free to borrow for your gardening.
v Experienced growing help available to help you throughout the process.
v Free workshops, open to all members of the community throughout the growing season on seeds, designing your garden, organic insect and disease control, harvesting, composting, canning, storing.
v Popular brands are often higher priced, and placed at eye-level. Check lower shelves for lower prices.
v Look for the discount rack in the produce section. You can often find ripened fruits that are great for baking in breads or muffins; you can also freeze these fruits for late use. Frozen bananas have the texture and taste of an ice cream – without dairy or added chemicals.
v Dented canned goods may be reduced in price. However, don’t buy them if they are really damaged, as the chemicals from the tin may cause food poisoning.
v Never shop on an empty stomach! Everything looks tasty when you are hungry.
v Stock up when you can afford it on products that are on sale, and can be stored for a long time.
v “No-name” or generic-brand products are usually better money value and often equal (if not better) quality than brand-name products.
v Buy day-old bakery products and freeze what you don’t use right away.
v Buy “B” –grade poultry products. They have the same food value as “A” grade; they just don’t look as good.
v Read the fine print! Products that appear to be similar in size can differ greatly in their price per 100 grams, or price per unit. This information can usually be found in very small print on the shelf price-sticker.
No matter how well we budget, share or plan, there will always come a time when we simply run out of food and money. Income assistance has not been in line with the cost of living since 1975 and, in Ontario, the income assistance was reduced by 21.6% in 1995 and has not had a single cost of living increase since that time. Therefore, as the costs of heat, transportation, housing, food, etc. are rising, each dollar buys less and less. Minimum wage levels have not been in line with cost of living increases, either and running out of food is becoming an increasingly common experience, shared by many families in our community.
There are charity food programs providing emergency hunger relief that you may access during these times. Charity food programs include food banks, community meal programs, and the provision of food vouchers. These services are provided because people in our community believe that everyone has the right to this most basic life necessity: food. People donate food, money and time to make these programs work. Unfortunately, many of charitable food programs have become “public dumps” for large grocery store chains. As perishable foods such as bread, pastries, meat and vegetables reach the end of their “sell by” dates, they are shipped off to charitable food programs. Otherwise the grocery stores would have to pay dumping fees to dump them in landfill sites. They may actually receive an additional financial benefit, a charitable tax receipt, for giving this garbage to the poor and disadvantaged. Furthermore, some charities may charge money for these items, claiming they are providing “a hand up, not a hand out”. Some large groceries chains have taken an ethical stand against this practice and will not use charitable food programs as dumps.
When accessing Charitable Hunger Relief, remember that the people who tend to work (paid or volunteer) in charitable food programs are generally quite knowledgeable of the issues faced by low-income earners in today’s society. Running out of food can sometimes cause distress and feelings of embarrassment, during an already difficult time. When you go to one of these places, be yourself. Talk with the other people who are working there or who are using the services, to discuss what other resources exist, share information, or discuss local or larger political strategies for permanently changing the need for these services. Sometimes these experiences can generate ideas and energy necessary for positive change.
These are honoured at most major grocery stores, and give you the option of choosing your own food. Vouchers are available through the following locations; by referral.
Market Tower, 2nd Floor
151 Dundas Street, London, N6A 5R7
You can contact your case worker if you are on assistance, and require food vouchers. However, the cost of the vouchers will be deducted from your next month’s cheque. Workers make vouchers available only when they see it as a last resort, and do not encourage or advertise the option. Vouchers are delivered between Saturdays after 15th of the month.
281 Wellington St at Horton St, London
Tel: 519-661-0343 ext. 227
There are 3 locations for food supply; call first to find location closest to you, and the times available for pick-up. Bring proof of income, rent receipts, and I.D. You can receive food supplies only once every three months.
472 Richmond Street, London
You can pick up food supplies Mon - Fri, 9:30 to noon, once every 3 months. Bring I.D, proof of income, rent receipts.
LONDON AND AREA FOOD BANK
926 Leathorne Street
Food supply is about 3 days' worth, and you can receive this once a month. You must have I.D, copy of income stub. Open Monday to Friday, 9 am – 4 pm.
141 Dundas Street (Lower), London
After the 15th of each month, youth between the ages of 14 – 23 can receive a 3-day food supply. ID is not required. The YAC has varied hours, opening at 7 am Monday to Friday. A drop-in breakfast is also offered Monday through Friday for youths.
Neighbourhood Food Services
244 Adelaide Street, South
Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre
550 Hamilton Road London, Ontario, N5Z 1S4
These neighbourhood food services are available only to residents of their location. No identification or proof of income is required, just your name and address.
Baby Food Bank
Provides baby food and diapers.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Emergency Food Cupboard
Provides food for one meal
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
CHALMER'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Satellite location for London Food Bank
342 Pond Mills Road
Free canned goods and other food
Once a month, but you must call ahead to register
Tuesday 1:00 to 2:00 pm - by appointment only
STRATHROY SALVATION ARMY
71 Maitland Terrance
Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10:00 to Noon and 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Bring I.D; no proof of income is required. Baby food is available on occasion. As the food supply is a week’s worth, they ask that you access them every other month; however, they do not turn people away.
803 Talbot Street, P.O. Box 20025
St Thomas, Ontario
Open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 am – 3 pm. and Tuesdays Noon to 3:30 p.m. Bring ID and proof of income.
There are a number of meal services throughout the London area. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners occur regularly in churches, community centres, some schools, and mission services. Due to ever-changing funding crunches, the place and times of these meals often change. For an updated list of meal services closest to you, contact: the London-Middlesex Public Health Unit, Basic Needs Planning Group @663-5317. They update a basic needs “map”, which includes food services, clothing and shelter.
The programs that are listed here may change, and not all available programs are listed. If you can, always call first to confirm that these services are still offered as described here.
696 Dundas St at Lyle St
Free hot meals: Sunday at 5 pm. Monday to Saturday starting at 7 pm. At 1:30 pm you can drop in for coffee, snacks and programs.
SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH’S
707 Dundas Street
Breakfast (9:30 – 11:00 am) and lunches (12:00 to 2:00 pm) provided for donation (50 cents for breakfast, $1.00 for lunch, children under 15 years eat free).
MEMORIAL BOYS' & GIRLS' CLUB
184 Horton Street
Provides nutritious meals four days a week, 5 – 6:30 pm to club members, for $2.00. Club membership is $25.00 a year for low-income families. Club is open to 7 to 17 year olds. They have some transportation buses available to and from the club.
356 Queen’s Avenue, London, N6B 1X6
Delivers during the week-day lunch hour, hot, nutritious meals to individuals who may have difficulty preparing their own meals. Frozen entrees also delivered for weekend meals. Special dietary needs are considered, including diabetic, minced, low-sodium, no-fish, non-spicy. Meals-On-Wheels request that new clients provide birth date, doctor’s name, health card and two emergency contacts. Meals are $7.50 each, with subsidies available to cover up to 2/3 of the cost, after an assessment is completed. Billing occurs at the end of the month. Self-referrals are welcome.
Food Banks usually provide a one to three day supply of food, once a month to once every three months, per individual or family. Proof of home address of identification for each family member may be required.
Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre
550 Hamilton Road
Tel: (519)-642-7630 ext. 227
- ThirdThursday of each month 1pm - 5pm.
- For residents of the Hamilton Road area only.
Families First CAPC White Oaks (South London Community Centre)
Baby Food Bank
1119 Jalna Blvd.
- 10:00 am - 3:00pm Monday – Friday
- Call first
Families First CAPC Westminster
1043 Southdale Rd. E.
- 10:00am - 3:00pm Monday-Friday
- Baby food bank for Westminster area residents, call first.
Fanshawe College, Student Sharing Shop
101 Fanshawe Blvd. Room B1050
- 9-4 Monday-Friday College students only. Note: If the Student Sharing Shop is closed, please go to the Students Success Centre at Room F2010 for assistance.
Rowntree Memorial United Church
156 Elliott Street
- Wednesday, Friday 9:30 am- 12:00 noon.
- Please use Brampton Street door
- Appointment required. Area Residents only.
Northwest London Resource Centre
Satellite location for London Food Bank
- Emergency Cupboard for northwest residents only N6G N6H at Resource Ctr.
- Wednesday 9:30 to Noon, Thursdays 1:00 to 4:00. Appointment Required. Call first
St Vincent de Paul Society Vouchers
- Contact the secretary or priest of any Catholic Church to arrange a home visit from a volunteer to discuss your needs. A food voucher may be issued.
Southdale Chaplaincy Centre
983 Southdale Rd. E.
- Baby food bank for Westminster area residents only.
The University of Western Ontario, USC Food Bank – UWO Students only
- 24-hour anonymous food hamper system; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hamper. Locker number and combination provided to pick up the food hamper; Baby food and food vouchers available.
- Hampers can also be picked up in person at the University Student Council office UCC Room 340 during business hours.
White Oaks United Church
1901 Jalna Blvd at Southdale Rd E
- Monday and Wednesday 1-3 pm, Saturday 10-12 noon.
- Residents of the area only, appointment required.
Start Up A Collective Kitchen
- For more information on how to start up a Collective Kitchen in your neighbourhood please call London Community Resource Centre.