Post by Geneviève Gazaille.
Do you open your fridge every night wondering what to make for dinner? Wonder no more! FoodWorks might be just what you need. Three days a week, you can get a nutritious meal delivered to your door for just $8.
FoodWorks is a social enterprise launched last year by Operation Come Home in cooperation with the Causeway Work Centre. The goal is to provide meaningful work opportunities to youth while offering healthy meals to those who need it. If seniors, food-insecure people or those at risk of losing their autonomy are a clear target for the initiative, anyone is invited to sign-up.
Here is how it works. Every week, freshly-prepared meals are delivered to your door on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3pm and 6pm. The meals are prepared in Causeway’s kitchen and as they’re delivered by bike most of the year (and by car the rest of the year, thanks to a partnership with VrtuCar), deliveries are restricted for now to an approximate 5 km radius from the Causeway Work Centre, located in Hintonburg. At the moment, FoodWorks serves clients in Hintonburg, Centretown, The Glebe and Old Ottawa South. For $8, you get a main dish, two sides (starch and/or vegetables) and a salad or dessert.
As the program grows, more options will be offered, but those with dietary constraints shouldn’t shy away. For instance, most meals contain little sodium and sugar and many are vegetarian. Generally, meat is served once a week (on Mondays!) and the rest of the meals are usually vegetarian-focused. Gluten-free and lactose-free could also be accommodated.
The best part is that in the summertime, FoodWorks partners with its sister enterprise FarmWorks, which runs a certified-organic farm out of Blackburn Hamlet. Although costs are preventing FoodWorks from only using certified organic or locally-sourced ingredients, in-season produce is in fact fresh, organic and locally-grown by youth who learn relevant skills doing it.
In addition to its meal delivery service, the team behind FoodWorks offers brown bag lunches for catered events. Community services and professionals are also encouraged to submit referrals as they encounter elders who have difficulty preparing meals or people who don’t have access to nutritious food.
Operation Come Home offers educational and employment support to at-risk and homeless youth and this is one of their programs where participants are actively engaged in every aspect of the business, whether it’s menu planning, promotion or delivery.
People interested in signing up are asked to commit to a try-out basis of a month, whether it’s once a week or more. You can request a sign-up form by contacting the program’s coordinator Kaeli McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-230-4663. Payments can be made by cheque or credit card.