Hands-on at the Lanark County Food Bank’s Hunger Stop

On Tuesday, September 25, the Lanark County Food Bank invited municipal council and candidates from its catchment area to a hands-on volunteer experience at the Hunger Stop in Carleton Place. Bev Holmes, David Hinks and I represented Mississippi Mills.

It was a sobering but impressive learning experience. Sobering to discover how many people need to use the food bank, and impressive to see how generous local residents are with both “cash and cans.” We sorted and checked donations, filled bags of flour, put together kits of plastic bags for recycling and garbage, filled up a few paper bags of dog food, and discovered all the people and things that go into making it work. The volunteers and information we received busted a few myths about “food insecurity”:

Food Insecurity Fact Sheet

No government funding is involved; not even a municipal tax break.

What to donate? There’s a wish list that you can stick on your fridge; I would add to that diapers (even opened packages – if you’re a grandparent you may still have half-packages of diapers from child visits that the child has outgrown), baby food and formula, paper products, tampons, soaps, shampoos and conditioners (the travel and hotel packs are also welcome) and all the staples. If you use it, probably others do, too. The wish list has some general suggestions:

This is just a suggestion

They also provide coffee, tea, food wrapping items, pet foods and supplies.

Find out a lot more about donating to the Food Bank here:

Lanark County Foodbank

In Almonte, you may drop off donations at: Patrice’s Your Independent Grocer 401 Ottawa Street, Almonte, ON

 

 

 

Thank you to Karin Nakamura and the volunteers for sharing your time and knowledge with us.

Change

Am I the change you want? I want to:

Improve the Democratic Process in Mississippi Mills:

  • more public input into council and committee meetings
  • elections, not appointments, to be used for Council vacancies
  • see that residents’ fundamental freedoms and democratic rights under the Bill of Rights 1960 and Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1981 are supported
  • improve accountability through recording of all public and closed meetings (including committee meetings) as recommended by the provincial Ombudsman
  • amend municipal bylaws and policies to be consistent with public rights and freedoms under provincial and federal acts; remove any provisions that attempt to suppress them
  • implement a redress mechanism used by other municipalities that empowers citizens between elections

Improve the Service Experience in Mississippi Mills:

  • codes of conduct that deal with service to the public by Council and employees and a user-friendly recourse process
  • institute a hierarchy of response by elected representatives so that queries no longer fall through the cracks
  • promote problem-solving, time management, quality control, accessibility services and resolving issues to staff and train if necessary

Improve Roads and Public Works

  • seek input from residents on the future of sidewalks and roads
  • seek a heavy vehicle and dangerous good transport route through consultation with the public, commercial users, the province and federal government
  • pay attention to public needs, such as placing municipal trash receptacles in areas where people need them, not just downtown

Deal with Conflicts of Interest:

  • require annual declarations by council, public board and committee members, and employees of their pecuniary  interests and those of their family/conjugal relationships that may cause actual or perceived conflict
  • corrective actions for violations
  • support the new Integrity Commissioner and seek her/his suggestions

Improve Communication and Critical Information

  • ensure public access to recordings of Council and Committee sessions (except those closed under exceptions in the Municipal Act, which will be recorded for the purpose of potential investigation)
  • improve web services
  • meet with residents regularly
  • digitize and organize by-laws, policies and financial reports
  • allow public message access to non-profit community organizations

Improve the Business Environment

  • seek advice and vision from all businesses in Almonte and consult with our neighbours in Ramsay and Pakenham: what works? What doesn’t?
  • If expanding the settlement areas, where does business fit in? Is there a better place for more industrial-type use (instead of over the groundwater protection area)?

Improve the Fairness and Management of Heritage Buildings

  • allow opt-outs
  • establish priorities through municipality-wide consultation on support from public funds (such as community-owned, service organizations, commercial, residential)
  • encourage arms-length management and distribution of any financial heritage support and resources chiefly through owners, with municipal support as available and needed

Respect Parks and Recreation

  • no parks will be sold for residential or commercial development without public support
  • make park access, maintenance and development equitable
  • establish consistent and reliable information for residents on scheduled events and servicing

Utilize Volunteers

  • recognize and train volunteers who help the community by providing services and sitting on boards
  • seek advice from volunteer groups, including firefighters
  • Mentor young people in civic government through volunteering and shadowing

Enhance a Variety of Tourism

Tourism investment and support of festivals and the arts will be available and equitable to all in Almonte and Mississippi Mills.

Give You a Voice in Planning

  • As recommended by the Planning Department, over the next two years, look at expanding the settlement boundaries of Almonte.
  • Collect input from residents on what changes to the Community Official Plan they envision, and what requires clarity and certainty for their own future planning.
  • Discuss youth projections and needs with schools, parents and planners
  • Consider moving commercial and industrial business away from the groundwater protection area.
  • Explore transportation to Ottawa with neighbouring communities
  • Consult more formally with residents on senior services needed in future

Other
A community conversation needs to happen around drug hazards, addictions, policing and the effects of marijuana legalization in Mississippi Mills: what do we want from provincial services?