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COMMUNITY SERVICES | Working with Scarborough residents to build strong and healthy communities

Food Security

Follow us online to keep up with what's happening at ACSA Food Security: Instagram: @ACSA_foodsec | Twitter @ACSAfoodsec 

ACSA's Food Security department offers year-round programming to help increase access to good, healthy food. With communal gardens, cooking programs, and nutritional education, ACSA takes a holistic approach to challenging food insecurity.


(A video slideshow featuring pictures of participants during a Container Gardening Workshop in 2017 at Chester Le Community Corner) 

Community Gardens

Our community gardens are intended to provide residents with access to fresh food and improve food security throught Scarborough. At ACSA, gardeners and residents can access four different vegetable gardens. Located at Midland and Finch, McNicoll and Middlefield, and right at the Chester Le Community Corner, they provide clients with fresh, organic produce throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Three of the sites offer allotment-based membership, where clients can register for a plot for the season. Community gardners can grow their own veggies, take home their harvest and are encouraged to give back to their community by donating a portion of their produce to a local food bank.

Our newest garden at Chester Le is a communal garden, where residents learn the basics of food growing. The produce harvested supplements ACSA’s cooking programs, is donated to the Chester Le food bank and is also given to volunteers to take home.


(Left to right: a two pictures of various green tall crops being grown in the Chester Le Community Garden)    

Garden Season Workshops

From April till November, ACSA's Food Security Program runs a variety of workshops. These workshops are currently offered on a virtual basis. Some workshop topics include:

  • Balcony/Container Gardening
  • Soil Health
  • Composting
  • Companion Planting
  • Harvesting
  • Seed Saving
  • Food Preservation


Garden Socials/Meetings

From June until the end of October, ACSA's Food Security department hosts monthly garden socials/meetings. Community gardeners spend time together virtually talking about planting, harvesting, tending to vegetables, and learning new growing techniques. 


(Left to right: hand drawn sign with green imagery reads ACSA Container Gardening Demo FREE!, a close up of a mosaic designed bird.) 


Cooking Healthy Together

The Cooking Healthy Together program initially was a 6 week nutrition education and food skills workshop series for parents/caregivers of children aged 0-6. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic we recognized the need for more inclusive online programming and food connects us all. Currently, Cooking Healthy Together runs virtually and we invite everyone, of all ages, to participate. Topics include general nutrition, menu planning, healthy snacks/lunches/meals, making desserts healthy, eating seasonally and toddler nutrition. Through each topic, we will also cover other aspects of food literacy including cooking skills.

Click here to see our latest program flyer

Two youths moving freshly baked cookies into a bowl,   Youths preparing mini pizzas for the oven   A man happily posing by the stovetop while cooking

(Left to right: two youths placing freshly baked cookies into a bowl, two youths assembling pizzas for the oven, an individual posing and smiling as they cook on the stovetop) 


(Left to right: freshly baked muffins, a peach cobbler dessert) 

Backyard and Balcony Garden Program

The backyard and balcony garden program is a community of backyard and balcony gardeners supporting eachother to grow food at home. ACSA provides supplies, direct one-on-one support with gardens, regular workshops and connect others with a network of resources. No experience is needed! We invite persons of all ages to get involved.


For more information regarding programs, please contact Tyrzah M. at  


(Left to right: a large circular mosaic table depicting a blue sky, flowers, common wildlife critters and insects. A closer view of a mosaic squirrel) 


Community voices

"We are a group of residents who care about our neighbourhood. We work together to make our community a better and safer neighbourhood."
Community Safety Ambassador, July 2015

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