Cookbook helps people living in poverty

A map pointer with the image of a church
 on November 1, 2017

As part of an employment program at The Bridge, a centre for ex-prisoners in Brampton, staff were teaching a cooking classes when they asked the men where they shopped for food.

“At 7-Eleven” they said.

The staff were shocked and troubled by the answer. The popular convenience store chain is known for its Slurpees and prepared foods. “For the three dollars you pay for a burrito, you could make three meals if you have a stove,” says Garry Glowacki, The Bridge’s executive director.

After some brainstorming with a local community kitchen, they came up with the idea of a cookbook specifically for those living in poverty, to help them make their dollars go farther. Mr. Glowacki enlisted the support of Regeneration, an agency that serves the homeless in Peel Region, then received a $3,500 grant from the York-Credit Valley episcopal area.

The result is Living Well on Less, a cooking and life-skills booklet that is full of simple and affordable recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and sweets. There are tips on how to shop for less, buying nutritious food and using coupons. It includes photos and comments from those who are struggling to get by.

“We’re not going to cure poverty, but I’m hoping it will help people have more disposable income so they can do other things like buy their kids sneakers,” he says.

He hopes the booklet will change the perception of those living in poverty. “We’re hoping to show the general public that poverty and homelessness is a human issue – not just statistics.”

He also hopes the booklet will show those in need that other people care. “We wanted to give them something of importance,” he says. “I wanted people who will receive it to feel they’re getting a good gift. I wanted them to read it and say, ‘Hey, we can do things.’”

About 2,000 copies of the free booklet will be printed and distributed to foodbanks, community kitchens and other outreach ministries in Peel Region. For more information about Living Well on Less, contact Mr. Glowacki at [email protected]


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