New SPLASH Cen­tre pro­gram helps feed Har­bour Grace youth

The Compass - - Editorial - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

A new pro­gram from the SPLASH Cen­tre in Har­bour Grace aims to help youth ac­cess food and per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts.

The Pantry Project was of­fi­cially launched ear­lier this month and has al­ready at­tracted do­na­tions from peo­ple lo­cally in the form of cash, food and per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts like tooth­paste, sham­poo, de­odor­ant and even di­a­pers for young fam­i­lies.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Mag­gie Snow has been think­ing about food se­cu­rity for at least the past year, know­ing for a fact there were youth mak­ing use of the cen­tre who were at times go­ing hun­gry. She’s op­ti­mistic the new project can make a dif­fer­ence in their lives.

“Word of mouth, I know there is a high de­mand for it, and I know that our food banks are strug­gling, so this in no way try­ing to step on those toes or du­pli­cate the ser­vices, but we be­lieve in a no-wrong-door ap­proach … It’s just an ad­di­tion to the ser­vices that are al­ready in the com­mu­nity, and we’re just hop­ing our youth will avail of it, or any youth in any com­mu­nity can come and avail of it.”

Snow hopes that by tar­get­ing a ba­sic need such as hunger, youth can then con­fi­dently tackle sec­ondary needs, such as ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment.

“If they have full bel­lies and clean bod­ies, then they can go out and thrive,” she said. “And if they’re hun­gry, there are so many health risks that come with that, so they can’t be the best that they can be if they’re not meet­ing their ba­sic needs.”

Com­mu­nity sup­port in the early go­ing has been strong thus far, ac­cord­ing to Snow, who is ex­cited to see how the project pro­gresses.

“It’s new, so we’ll see what de­mand is like and how our sup­ply can sus­tain it­self, but we’re hop­ing that who­ever needs it will avail of it.”

The pantry will serve youth ages 12-29 and be open for pick-ups on Tues­day from 10 a.m. to noon, and Thurs­days from 10 a.m. to noon and 6-8 p.m. De­liv­er­ies may also be sched­uled if needed, when pos­si­ble. Do­na­tions can be dropped off at the Splash Cen­tre dur­ing reg­u­lar op­er­at­ing hours.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

SPLASH Cen­tre ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor be­lieves the Pantry Project will do a lot of good for youth in Har­bour Grace.

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