News

Riversyde 83 needs your votes

Eric Haverkamp and Virginia Lucas of Church Out Serving stand outside the former LCBO in downtown Simcoe. The group plans to turn the building into a food/community centre. File photo

Eric Haverkamp and Virginia Lucas of Church Out Serving stand outside the former LCBO in downtown Simcoe. The group plans to turn the building into a food/community centre. File photo

SIMCOE  - 

The public is being invited to help Riversyde 83 with its plans to renovate and repurpose the old LCBO building in downtown Simcoe into a community space.

The goal is to create a gathering place where members of the community can come together for food, friendship, fellowship and much more. People will be able to meet friends for coffee or a meal, take a food skills workshop, volunteer their time or pay-it-forward to someone else less fortunate.

Renovation plans include building and equipping a commercial kitchen, a café and marketplace.

The project is being led by Church Out Serving, a faith-based charity in Simcoe.

"We have received some tremendous support already from local funding groups, including 100 Women Who Care, Norfolk County, Norfolk Community Foundation and others," said Eric Haverkamp, president of the Church Out Serving Board, said in a media release.

The group is also part of an Aviva Canada campaign, which will see grants given to community groups across Canada. The groups receiving the most votes are eligible for a piece of the $1-million in total grant money.

The public can vote online at  www.avivacommunityfund.org (search for Riversyde 83). Voting runs until Oct. 19.

The group has also submitted funding applications at the local, provincial and federal levels to help cover the renovation costs.

Once it is completed,  Riversyde 83 will:

* Provide food skills workshops to help more families eat healthy on a budget

* Use donated surplus produce that will reduce local food waste

* Offer pay-it-forward programs to encourage community members to help one another

* Act as a gathering place to bring people together to reduce social isolation and loneliness.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email churchoutserving@gmail.com.