BRAMPTON, ON (October 20, 2020) – The City of Brampton’s Backyard Garden Program is now complete, with more than 10,000 lbs of produce donated to residents in need from April to October 2020.
The Backyard Garden Program, chaired by City Councillor Doug Whillans, Wards 2 and 6, and facilitated by the City’s Parks Maintenance and Forestry division, launched on April 15 as the first program of its kind in Canada in response to COVID-19. It is an extension of the existing Community Gardens program.
The program provided food resources for the Mayor’s COVID-19 Social Support Task Force, which facilitates necessary social supports for Brampton’s vulnerable communities.
Open to all Brampton residents, the program supplied residents with soil, packages of seeds, and growing advice for their new gardens. From April to October, residents grew their own backyard gardens, with some keeping their harvest and others donating to local food banks and community organizations, including the Knights Table, Regeneration, Khalsa Aid, and United Sikhs.
In addition to supporting residents in need with fresh produce, this eco-friendly initiative encouraged residents to stay active during COVID-19, and supported Bramptonians’ mental health by providing an at-home activity. It was also an opportunity for first-time gardeners to learn about gardening and try a new hobby.
The City of Brampton thanks its supporters Scotts, Mattamy Homes, Paradise Developments, TACC Holborn Corporation, and Fieldgate Developments for making this program possible.
By the numbers
• Within three days of the program launch, 6,000 residents had registered.
• More than 45 volunteers worked 490 hours to assist with delivering free seeds to participants.
• Staff and volunteers delivered 3,057 yards of bulk soil; 8,553 bags of soil; and 15,162 packets of seeds to participants.
“We saw an incredible response to the Backyard Garden Program and Councillor Whillans’s leadership, and we’re proud to have championed this initiative in Brampton as the first of its kind in Canada, inspiring cities near and far. The COVID-19 Social Support Task Force provided the necessary food supports to vulnerable Brampton residents through Knights Table and Regen during a difficult time, and everyone who grew and donated produce alleviated pressure on our food banks, supported our environment, and made us all proud.”
- Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton
“Our first-ever Backyard Garden Program was a huge success in Brampton. We brought seeds and soil to thousands of residents, which provided more than 10,000 pounds of produce to residents in need. I’d like to thank every single resident and business that was a part of the game-changing initiative that encouraged everyone to get into gardening, enjoy the outdoors, and give back to our community this year.”
- Doug Whillans, City Councillor, Wards 2 & 6, City of Brampton
“City staff have shown tremendous commitment and care for our community by working hard to implement the Backyard Garden Program, and we couldn’t be more impressed with the results. Brampton is a Green City, which is a key Term of Council priority, and this program has kept residents active and provided food security to individuals and families in Brampton.”
- David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton
“The Brampton Backyard Garden Program was such a great initiative. For the vulnerable families, individuals and seniors we serve, many are dealing with health concerns. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to help them maintain good health. The garden program was a valuable resource which provided much-needed produce to food insecure households.”
- Annie Bynoe, Executive Director, Knights Table
“The City of Brampton's Backyard Garden Program was a great success. The fresh produce that Regeneration Outreach Community received had a direct impact on the lives of Bramptonians who accessed our meal program and our emergency food bank. We are truly thankful for the City's vision to encourage our residents to participate."
- Ted Brown, CEO, Regeneration Outreach Community
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Media Relations, City of Brampton905.874.2880