Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society Photo The planned greenhouse area beside the Port Hardy Senior Citizens Centre.

Seniors need your help to grow their new greenhouse at the Senior Citizens Centre

drop by the Senior’s Centre to sign up for a work party or call Kris Huddlestan at 250-949-9744.

There are plans for a new greenhouse to sprout up beside the Port Hardy Senior Citizens Centre and they could use your help to complete it.

It couldn’t come at a better time.

The Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society will be using the fresh vegetables to support their growing lunch program.

Every Tuesday, seniors have been gathering at the Centre to enjoy lunch together. “Our dream was that we would be able to give enough food that seniors can go home with supper so we could have two meals cut out of their costs,” says Rosaline Glynn, Chair of the Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society.

“When we first started doing food it was just bring your own bag lunch, we’ll provide tea and coffee”, says Glynn, “Then we started doing store-bought soup. When Kris Huddlestan came on board, we bought InstaPots and she started doing home-made soup.”

“I started cooking soups from scratch using healthy ingredients because I want seniors to eat healthy”, says Huddlestan, Vice Chair of the Society.

The response has been overwhelming.

Since the fresh soup program started, the number of seniors attending the lunch has grown from 20 people a week to an average of 50.

Huddlestan has seen the effect on the seniors. “I had someone tell me a couple of months ago ‘You’ve really changed how I think about food.’”

The Society has also seen a corresponding surge in use of the Centre by seniors. “We’ve more than doubled in size in the last two years”, says Glynn.

“What we found was that people came for the food but after a while, the food has now become secondary. The socialization is the biggest thing that’s happening. They come here to be sociable, to meet their friends.”

“The main thing is that people are getting together so they’re not isolated in their homes.”

The new greenhouse will feature raised garden beds that are walker and wheelchair friendly so bending over won’t be required and the produce will be go directly into the pot to make hearty soups for the seniors.

The greenhouse was made possible by a grant from The Union of BC Municipalities thanks to an application sent by the Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society and Councillor Pat Corbett-Labatt.

“We were thrilled to be awarded the grant which will help increase food security for the members of the Hardy Bay Senior Society but as well help increase the social interaction between the members,” says Corbett-Labatt.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, though.

“We need to figure out where everything’s going to go, do all the pathwork, get the bins built, get greenhouse up, get the crush down,” says Huddlestan, who’s in charge of the project.

While a strong back will be appreciated, expertise is also needed. “I’m going to need carpenters with skills.”

If you would like to volunteer your time and expertise to help the seniors get their greenhouse going, drop by the Senior’s Centre to sign up for a work party or call Kris Huddlestan at 250-949-9744.

– Travis Winterwed article

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