January 21, 2016 – Today the Peterborough County-City Health Unit together with other local community partners announced they were successful in surpassing its campaign goal of $204,000 needed to build Myrtle’s Kitchen at its new Jackson Square location in downtown Peterborough. A total of $222,886 was raised towards the project. The additional donations will help cover construction contingencies, programming costs, and to purchase equipment to outfit the new kitchen.
“We are enormously grateful to our amazing donors who didn’t hesitate to support this campaign and make Myrtle’s Kitchen a reality for our community,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Their generosity is matched only by their passion for better public health. Our donors understand how local residents and their families will benefit over the long term thanks to the cooking skills and nutritious meals that they will enjoy here.”
MPP Jeff Leal was on hand to commend the fundraising team’s success, and acknowledge the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation which contributed $61,100 grant towards Myrtle’s Kitchen. “I am pleased that our government through the Ontario Trillium Foundation was a partner in this project that will be located right here in the downtown. Myrtle’s Kitchen will improve the quality of life of our community by establishing a regional, shared meeting place where people can come together to access healthy food and learn valuable life skills. Congratulations to all the local partners associated with this project.”
Named in honour of Myrtle Smith, the matriarch of AON’s Smith family who contributed the lead gift of the campaign, this new commercial-quality kitchen will be built on the second floor of the Health Unit’s new Jackson Square location. PCCHU plans to issue RFPs shortly with a goal to open Myrtle’s Kitchen in the spring of 2016. It will support a wide range of community programs to create food security for vulnerable residents in partnership with Nourish Project and other local partners, as well as nutrition and safe food handling programs.
“As the lead partner in the Nourish Project, a program that teaches food literacy through growing, cooking, eating and advocating for good food, we’re delighted to see the dream of a community kitchen come true,” said Lynn Zimmer, Executive Director, YWCA Peterborough Haliburton. “The YWCA has done food work for more than 25 years because we believe it has the power to move communities, especially women and children, toward thriving. Now that the kitchen will be built, we are actively seeking investment to support our food programming, including that which will take place at Myrtle’s Kitchen.”
“Good food can have a transformative impact on our community,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “We know that 11.5% of our local households experience food insecurity which means that every day there are thousands of residents who cannot access healthy foods.” She explained that by expanding the quality of food skills programs, and eliminating kitchen rental costs for community agencies who deliver these programs, Myrtle’s Kitchen will significantly benefit our most vulnerable populations.
Donors from across the county and city of Peterborough gathered to hear today’s special announcement. Major supporters of Myrtle’s Kitchen include the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, the Smith Family, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Flying Colours, Community Food Centres Canada, Sysco Central Ontario, LLF Lawyers LLP, Betty and Bill Morris, the Peterborough Foundation, and numerous family and individual donors. A tribute wall will be designed in the main foyer leading into the Kitchen to recognize the support of the donors who contributed to the campaign.
A leading grantmaking foundation in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. For more information, please visit: www.otf.ca
To make a donation towards future public health and nutritional programming in Myrtle’s Kitchen, please call 705-743-1000, ext. 264 or donate online at www.pcchu.ca and click on “Make a Donation”. Donations to support the Nourish Project can be easily made online by visiting http://nourishproject.ca/donate.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391