The Alex Community Food Centre is Set to Open in 2016
It’s still in its early stages, but soon it will make eating healthy more accessible.
A rendering of The Alex Community Food Centre.
Image courtesy of RAD Architecture and Interiors
Everyone deserves access to healthy food, regardless of their background or income level. But the reality is, not everyone is able to eat well. By the end of next year, wide accessibility to healthy food will be more of a reality in Calgary.
In 2014, The Alex partnered with Community Food Centres Canada to work on launching Calgary’s first Community Food Centre (CFC.) The goal is to raise $2.7 million to get the building up and running and for three years of operating costs.
Here’s what you need to know about Calgary's CFC so far.
What a Community Food Centre does
In a nutshell, it’s all about getting Calgarians to eat healthier. “A CFC is a welcoming place where food can be grown, cooked and shared,” says Renee MacKillop, the Community Food Centre project manager.
Each CFC is different because it’s catered to the neighbourhood that it’s in, but in general, they help the community in three areas. They have a kitchen where healthy food can be prepared and where individuals can come to enhance their cooking skills. There’s a garden or greenhouse for growing food. And there’s a dining room where meals can be shared together and where members of the community can meet each other. Some CFCs in Canada even have a pizza oven.
The Alex Community Food Centre so far
It’s still in its early days, but by the last quarter of 2016, Calgary is scheduled to be home to the 8th Community Food Centre in Canada. (The 7th opened in Dartmouth at the end of September.) It’s going to be located around 17th Avenue N.E. — its exact location will be revealed early next year when all the permitting has been set in stone — in a 5,000-square-foot building that’s being renovated and designed by a team from RAD Architecture. That's the same company that designed popular restaurants including Last Best Brewery and Distillery and Pigeonhole.
Not much is known about what it’s going to look like right now, but MacKillop says it’s going to have a "real Calgary feel" and it will engage others to join in the conversation about the accessibility to healthy food.
Why Calgary needs it
There’s already been a shift in mindset in Calgary regarding food. Lots of restaurants change their menu seasonally in order to use local ingredients. And, there are more and more farmers’ markets in the city to make shopping local a little easier. The next step is making healthy, local and sustainable food accessible to everyone. The Alex Community Food Centre would help everyone from low-income Calgarians to people looking to improve their skills in the kitchen or garden to people who just want someone to eat with and talk to.
For more information on Calgary’s CFC, visit thealexcfc.ca.