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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cafe Benefits Mental Health

Owen Sound | by Claire McCormack  

Fresh Roots Cafe will employ clients of the local Canadian Mental Health Assocation branch.

A flash-fundraiser will be held on Giving Tuesday (November 28th) for a new kitchen and catering business at The Canadian Mental Health Association, Grey Bruce (CMHA).

It's a one-day, $5,000 campaign to kick-start Fresh Roots Café and Catering.

Local branch Executive Director Claude Anderson says the cafe will employ up to twelve people with lived experience of a mental illness who will work under the guidance of CMHA staff.

According to the CMHA, many people living with a mental illness are typically excluded from the mainstream economy, and participants in this CMHA program will receive an income as they prepare food as well as make and sell homemade jams and sauces from CMHA’s community gardens.

The initiative is designed to build food skills, reduce social isolation, and increase access to healthy food, while connecting people to other community-based resources including health, legal and housing services.

Anderson says "That's what this whole program is about, from the garden to the table and to service to others in the community."

The not-for profit café and catering operation also allows the public to support the CMHA and raise awareness about mental health and addictions by visiting for lunch or buying catering services.

Fresh Roots Café and Catering will be located beside CMHA Grey Bruce’s Owen Sound office (1024 2nd Ave. E.).

The one-day fundraiser is part of a larger $30,000 campaign goal for the project.

The hope is to open by the end of the month.

If you'd like to help, donations to can be made online at,  by calling the branch at 519-371-3642 or in person at CMHA Grey-Bruce, 1024 2nd Avenue East in Owen Sound.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering and takes places after Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Giving Tuesday opens the holiday season and unites charities, companies and individuals in the spirit of giving.

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