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Feb 16th, 2024

Partner Spotlight: Harvest House Offers Much-Needed Fruits and Veggies  

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As groceries get increasingly expensive, OCH Partners have stepped in to help. 

Every Monday, Harvest House drops off 10-20 boxes of fruit and vegetables for residents at MacDonald Manor. OCH Community Development and Options Bytown staff work with resident volunteers to support the weekly program. 

Mike, a tenant in the building and a volunteer who helps with the program, says that tenants depend on the items they get.   

“Everything is really good,” he said. “It would probably cost you at least $40 at the store and sometimes we get treats and other things.”  

During that hour, as many as 50 residents will receive much-needed food. But that isn’t the only positive thing about this weekly event.   

Mike said he had been living in the building for about a year and a half and was getting food from the program when he was motivated to help. The program allowed him to connect with others in his community.   

“Everyone who comes and gets some fruit and vegetables is very grateful,” he said. “It’s very important.”  

Each year, OCH Community Developers work with dozens of community organizations and dedicated tenant volunteers to help build healthier, more inclusive communities.   

Adham, the Community Developer who works in the MacDonald Manor community, says he uses that hour to invite other partners to attend the building lounge during the fruits and veggies program. Some partners that have visited included Khalsa Aid – which works with the OCH Foundation on a program called Tomorrow Ready, which supports tenants by providing perishable, non-perishable and hygiene products. Recovery Care also visited the community to provide place-based healthcare, such as Hepatitis C testing through the mobile clinic.   

“It’s not just about food, it’s also turned the lounge into a community hub,” he said, adding the program wouldn’t be possible without resident volunteers.   

What does Harvest House do?  

Aside from food programming, Harvest House offers faith-based addiction counselling and support services. Aside from the MacManor community, they offer support at 251 Donald, Russell Gardens and Heather Manor.