Minister of Indigenous Services Honourable Patty Hajdu announced a federal investment of $735,360 on June 29 to renovate and retrofit the Roots Community Food Centre in Thunder Bay.
Through this investment, the Centre will install new doors and upgraded windows with solar shading that will minimize heat loss in the winter and keep the building naturally cool in the summer. It will also enable them to install a new boiler that uses locally sourced wood pellets and create a rain garden with plants and natural materials found locally that will capture rainwater and mitigate runoff.
These improvements are expected to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by an estimated 30.2 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 124 tonnes annually.
The Centre serves people in the greater Thunder Bay community who are food insecure by using food as a tool to connect people and build belonging and dignity. Alongside outreach and advocacy programs, the centre provides community members with access to shared meals, fresh produce markets, cooking and garden courses, and employment experiences.
“Every day, Roots Community Food Centre makes sure people get food, connections and community. They offer programs that nourish the soul and make sure that no one goes hungry amongst us. They work to welcome people to a place where they belong and can learn new skills, and meet new people. The Government of Canada will continue to invest in organizations and community infrastructure that are taking climate action and building more resilient and inclusive communities across Canada,” said Hajdu in a release.
The Government of Canada is investing $735,360 in this project through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program (GICB).
“This contribution from GICB is essential in ensuring that Roots Community Food Centre can operate from a building that is able to weather the changing climate pressures, reduce our carbon footprint and maintain a space that is accessible and welcoming to all,” said Executive Director of Roots Food Community Centre Erin Beagle. “We’re excited to make changes that allow us to adapt and showcase how green building innovations can be included in community spaces and we’re thankful to the Government of Canada for their investment in this space that provides dignified food access and community connection for so many people in Thunder Bay.”
At least 10 per cent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.