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Oct 6th, 2022

News Release: OCHC is Proud to Launch Public Foods Pantry to Address Food Insecurity in Centretown Communities

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Oct. 6, 2022, OTTAWA, ON – Residents of Centretown will now have an option to access food support in a dignified way thanks to a new outdoor food pantry at 415 MacLaren.  

The pantry, dubbed Public Foods – Your Community Fridge and Pantry – will feature shelves, a fridge, and a back wall with a selection of herbs, onions and other edible plants for residents to pick.   

The pantry was designed and built by Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. However, the impetus was from the Glebe St. James United Church. Volunteers from the church will also help operate the pantry, and the church will be actively seeking donations to fill the shelves.   

Arlington 5 Café donated the fridge, and OCHC provided the location and power to the structure. The Centretown Community Health Centre also helped facilitate the project through community outreach and other support.   

Quick facts: 

  • There are 528 residents in the two OCHC communities neighbouring the structure 
  • 236 residents in the two buildings live alone 
  • The average monthly income of the residents is $1,413 per month 

 “Because we care, this partnership will help improve the lives of tenants living in the adjacent communities. It is a thoughtful and innovative solution to the issue of food insecurity.” Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, OCHC 

“I am grateful to see community partners coming together to support this initiative. We know that a lot of times tenants face financial challenges that leave them choosing between bills and groceries.” Brian Gilligan, Chief Officer, Community and Tenant Support, OCHC 

“Volunteers from Glebe St. James, who were concerned about food insecurity in Ottawa, were instrumental in getting this initiative started. They will continue supporting the Public Foods Pantry to make a difference to people in the nearby community.” Jennifer Aitken, Chair of Council, Glebe-St. James United Church 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students. Working with the community fulfills their ambitions to make architecture that contributes to the daily lives of people.” Dr. Federica Goffi, Interim Director of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. 

About Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCHC houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCHC is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio, and is the second largest in Ontario. OCHC was selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.       

About the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University delivers education and research in the intersecting fields of architecture, urbanism, and conservation and sustainability. Its undergraduate, professional, and doctoral degree programs enable responsible, visionary citizens with the capacity for innovative work in the built environment at all scales. Through meaningful relationships with the community, the school addresses complex political, economic, and technical questions that inform the production of buildings and cities. | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram