Pam Farrell of St. Davids has been nominated by Win Laar of NOTL as one of our Pandemic Heroes. Here iss what Laar said in her nomination:
As a former teacher, Pam grew increasingly aware of food insecurity in the families of many of her students and the existence of food deserts within cities.
When the former Scouts headquarters building in Niagara Falls came up for sale in 2019 Pam bought it with her own money and was granted charitable status for GROW Community Food Literacy Centre.
The GROW market opened Aug. 1, 2020, to members of the community who can demonstrate that they are below the low-income cut-off, sometimes referred to as the “poverty line.”
Now, in the most impoverished area in the entire Niagara region, GROW members shop for healthy, nutritional, fresh produce and non-perishables, as well as eggs, dairy, bread, frozen meats and fish, all at discounted prices. GROW has brought dignity and hope to those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and to those who for various reasons are struggling.
Pam believes food is a basic human right. Nether she nor any of the many volunteers working at GROW receive any payment. Plans for when restrictions ease include holding community dinners and cooking classes. Already a sense of community has developed, as people socialize in line while waiting their turn to enter the market, where they are always welcomed with warmth and friendliness.
GROW is at 4377 Fourth Ave. in Niagara Falls. All those who are below the low-income cut-off are welcome to become members.
For more information, go to www.growcflc.com/