will work for food

Earlier this week I volunteered at the Winnipeg Foodshare Co-op. I barely consider this volunteering. Yep, I put in my time for no cash but I came home with probably two weeks worth of fruit and veggies.

The WFC is relatively new here and is modeled on the Good Food Box program in Toronto. It started out in September in the West Broadway and North End neighbourhoods as a way to bring healthy, accessible, affordable ┬áproduce to our city’s food desserts but has since expanded to include all of Winnipeg.

As a volunteer, I work a four hour shift packing the food boxes (well, bags, actually) and cleaning up. Lunch is included and I get take home an individual box. In the box this week were 3 apples, 3 bananas, 1 broccoli crown, 1 cucumber, 1 head of garlic, 2 kiwi, 1 lemon and 1 large potato. But because when the orders are place with the distributor it isn’t for an exact amount, and because some of the produce that arrives isn’t good enough to include in the box, both times that I’ve volunteered I’ve come away with much more than just the individual bag.


The first time I volunteered, I came home with a ton of onions and made a delicious French onion soup. Yesterday my bag also included mushrooms, 2 onions, 1 sweet potato, 3 extra lemons, 1 extra broccoli crown, 2 extra bananas, and 2 extra heads of garlic. I had to pack everything in paper because it takes about 25 minutes to walk home and it was – 32 C but everything arrived unfrozen. Even the bananas didn’t turn black.

As much as I really, really, really want a job, I will miss being able to do stuff like this. And not just for the free food. It’s super nice to meet people in my neighbourhood that I might not otherwise cross paths with and the woman who runs the program is truly lovely. Since I’m not currently working, volunteering is a good way to get out of the house and connect with people, rather than spending all my time in front of the computer looking for work, plunking away at my thesis and getting cabin fever.


human library

The 2013 edition of the Human Library will run from January 24 to 26. It is taking place in Winnipeg at the Millennium Library and in fourteen other cities across the country. I love this event! Or rather, I love the idea of this event because I’ve never actually participated before. But I am this year.

My book is Nicole & Kris, a couple in their 30s who are building a Earthship. Interested to hear how they’ve done it but what I really want to know is how they ever found the guts to take the leap in the first place.

You can walk in and take a book off the shelf but the time slots fill up quickly, so if you want to be guaranteed a book you need to schedule in advance. I’m booked (haha) for Friday. Will let you know how it goes.

out frugaled!

Or should that be frugalled? In any case, I thought I needed new boots. Hows this for need?!?

old boots

My dear friend was walking around with her boots literally falling off her feet. And if that wasn’t frugal enough, she rescued these boots from a dumpster in the first place. It cost $35 to have the zippers replaced and then she had a great pair of boots for three years. Until the back seams split and the left sole started falling off. And even then she wondered if she could get them repaired! In the end, not being able to fit them in her suitcase was the deciding factor. They went into the garbage and she went home with a new pair of boots.

new boots
Gorgeous, expensive boots. But I approve because I don’t think being frugal is about being cheap. I think it is better, when possible, to spend the cash on something that is well made and that you love rather than a series of cheap things that you’ll toss out at the end of the season. And I have no doubt that my friend will love these boots for years; that she’ll have them re-soled and repaired and in 10 or 12 years time I’ll be able to take a picture of this pair, falling off her feet.