The Artillery takes aim at hunger in New Brunswick

Article / June 26, 2019 / Project number: 19-0171

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By Captain Chris Lardner, Tactics School, Combat Training Centre

Fredericton, New Brunswick — Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are renowned the world over for their selfless humanitarian assistance. From time to time, however, it is not the world, but Canadians who require assistance.

This spring the Fredericton, New Brunswick area was subject to historic levels of flooding. This flooding was both catastrophic and costly.

Among those affected by the flooding was Greener Village, a staple of the Fredericton community. Greener Village is an organization in Fredericton that provides food and clothing to people in need – a particularly important task at any time of year.

According to their statistics, they “provide emergency food relief to more than 1,200 families a month, approximately 3,500 people, 32% of which are children,” as well as providing “over 1,300 food hampers every month and providing three days of school snacks for over 700 children aged 5-14 every week.”

The charity, which began as a food bank in 1983, now has gardens and greenhouses to grow organic produce and they hold cooking workshops, among other programs. Their vision is to provide emergency access to high-quality food in a dignified setting that promotes healthier food choices and self-esteem.

For several years now, 128 Battery, 4th Regiment (General Support) (128 Bty, 4Regt (GS)) has been building ties between Greener Village and the CAF. This is done through volunteer work such as preparing Greener Village’s community garden for the summer and winter seasons.

Due to the damage done by the flooding this spring, the soldiers were once again presented with the opportunity to help out and continue to foster ties between the CAF and the local community. Many of the soldiers involved have lived in the area for several years and have become enmeshed in the fabric of their community.

On June 6, 2019, volunteers from 128 Bty, 4Regt (GS) once again descended upon Greener Village. They spent the day doing manual labour that otherwise would take weeks to complete.

Among the tasks assigned to the soldiers were: building a deer fence to keep the local wildlife from treating the community garden as a buffet, cleaning and preparing a greenhouse required for the community garden – this involved weeding the beds, turning the topsoil and replacing the soil with new, more fertile soil and helping to clean out a quaint ice cream stand that can now be used to sell delicious ice cream the summer through.

All those involved left Greener Village with a sense of pride in being able to make a difference in their local community.

As in years past, the troops were honoured to be part of this community initiative and look forward to taking part again in the future. As always, a special thank you goes out to Alison Junta, Greener Village’s Executive Assistant, and the rest of the staff at Greener Village for allowing 128 Bty, 4Regt (GS) to be part of the magnificent work they do.

“As ever, Greener Village stands indebted to a group of volunteers who make such a difference every time they come out to help. This time our deer defences were rectified, and so much else achieved that we were left speechless.  It is always such a pleasure to have people who are so proactive. Thank you so much from all of us, and we hope that we will see you again in the fall,” Ms. Junta said.

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