The Seniors Economic Environment Development Society (SEEDS) volunteers’ grant writing skills are helping keep their gardening programs growing. The fledgling 18 month volunteer society, started by visionary Lee Reid, received a $2,500 grant from CIBC on June 25.
CIBC representatives Amy Bell, Nelson branch manager Tammy Dunlop, Senior Vice President BC and Yukon Mike Stevenson, and Amy Bell Senior VP BC/YK presented the welcomed funds to the group of volunteers. As a previous Nelson resident, Stevenson was pleased to visit and very happy to support an organization for which CIBC Nelson branch pensioner Tina Shields volunteers.
Reid said what started with a $2,000 grant from the local credit union, (the first grant she had ever written) turned into $50,000 in grants the first year with much help from Tara Stark and Louise Poole. She was looking for a way for seniors, retired or not, to volunteer in a meaning full way with children in the community. This spring, over 200 students worked alongside volunteers planting and harvest the greens.Tina Shields, SEEDS president, said they are trying to teach children that greens do not come from the supermarket, but that they are grown “because one day we might have to.”
As the organization has taken root, they now have a grant writer plus Tamara Abramson as the SEEDS fund development manager who has been integral in the procurement of various funding opportunities.
Food security has been a topic of discussion across the country and the globe. With childhood obesity on the rise and recommendations that children are more willing to eat fruits, vegetables and herbs that they help grow and cultivate, it’s a fun worthwhile experience with many benefits. What kid wouldn’t want to dig in a garden or explore in a greenhouse for school?
SEEDS has applied for organic certification as Kootenay Mountain grown and they are a member of Kootenay local Agriculture Society which offers great support, certification, ethical practices and education for farmers and food growers.
The majority of the 250 pots of winter greens were donated to the Nelson Food Cupboard thanks to the installation of growing lights.
You don’t need to be a senior to volunteer or become a member of this fast growing group. For more information, visit seedsnelson.org.