Access County Community Support Services has become a pillar of community partnerships. Access has strengthened the relationships between those living in isolated situations and the services available within our community. Access provides opportunities and social experiences for all, especially those most in need. Access offers a variety of essential community services, including Housing & Basic Needs Program, Counseling, Youth Drop-In Centres, Afterschool Programs, the Early Years Program, and the Nutrition Program.
Last year, the Nutrition Program engaged more than 6,000 people between all of the projects. The participants contributed 28,000 volunteer hours growing 6,784 lbs of produce and distributing 1,830 bags of food to people across Windsor-Essex County. We hope to eliminate the fear and uncertainty around growing and preparing food. We want to show our community that healthy food is interesting, easy, and delicious, and that preparing healthy meals is right for anyone’s budget.
Gardening brings people together by giving them an inexpensive, accessible pastime. It isn’t overly intimidating and doesn’t require expensive tools or a particular skill set. It can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s also contagious. People who come to our community garden tend to bring back the same ideas to wherever they are coming from. We see a lot of teachers bringing it into their classroom and support workers bringing it to retirement homes, proving that it really is an activity that any age group can really get into.