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Samedi, 20 avril 2024

Dawson: The Verdun Market Box

By Chad Polito
Special Collaboration

Over the past several years, BGC Dawson has piloted a Mobile Market Project to increase accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables in the neighborhoods HLMs (low-income housing). Pre-pandemic, BGC Dawson would visit five HLMs per week to set up a fresh fruits and vegetable market for residents. The mobile markets offered high quality fresh fruits and vegetables at a reasonable cost and were quite popular.

When COVID-19 hit, BGC Dawson had to modify the mobile markets to provide the same quality of service while respecting public health guidelines. Immunocompromised residents of the HLMs and those with reduced mobility found themselves in situations where they simply could not go to the grocery store anymore. To help reduce the burden of stress on these residents, BGC Dawson provided weekly delivery of food baskets that included fresh fruits and vegetables.

As COVID-19 restrictions set in, it was no longer possible to set up a physical weekly market inside the HLMs. In an effort to continue to provide this service, BGC Dawson opened the weekly market at their centre on Woodland Street. This market offered fresh fruits and vegetables as well as ready to go frozen meals that were prepared in-house by the Dawson kitchen team.

With the start of a new year and the pandemic lingering on, Maxwell Parr, BGC Dawson’s Mobile Market Facilitator, saw the opportunity to reimagine this project. In January 2022, BGC Dawson launched the Verdun Market Basket: boxes of high-quality fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. “By purchasing in bulk from a wholesaler, we are able to cut costs and reduce waste”, explains Parr. “Our baskets are designed based on affordability, nutrition, and accessibility. We try to prioritize local and organic.”

The Verdun Market Boxes are available in three sizes and range from $10 to $20. Ordering opens every Thursday at 9 am and closes on Monday at 9 am, for pickup at BGC Dawson or Church of the Epiphany. BGC Dawson also offers delivery to the following HLMs in Verdun:

  1. Habitations Marie Laure-Porcheron, 5600, boul. LaSalle H4H 2T2
  2. Habitations Simone Léveillé5630, boul. LaSalle H4H 1N8
  3. Habitations Fernande Rochon-de Gongre, 1050, rue Galt H4G 3G9
  4. Habitations Aurore Marceau 4250, rue Bannantyne H4G 3J4
  5. Habitations Clotilde D’Amico 4000, rue Bannantyne H4G 3H4
  6. Habitations communautaires Entre deux âges, 3601 Gaétan-Laberge, H4G 0A5

Frozen meals are also available for purchase during pick up. For more information on this project or to place an order, please visit our site !

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