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The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food…

The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired…

by Nick Saul

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This is an inspirational book about a highly successful community food centre in Toronto, The Stop, that started off as a traditional food bank. It is presented in author Nick Saul's voice, even though it was co-written with his spouse.

When Saul took over management of The Stop, he initiated a number of controversial changes, such as turning down food donations that were deemed unhealthy. The main ideas he tried to instill were that impoverished people deserved as much as everyone else to have tasty and healthy food, that giving them such food would save the government money by reducing health-care costs, and that food can be used to promote a sense of community. Some of the programs started at The Stop include community gardens, after-school cooking classes for kids, multicultural themed dinners, and prenatal nutrition classes.

As well as telling the story of The Stop, Saul also discusses at length the role of the food bank in society and the reasons for moving away from the current model that exists in most urban centres in Canada. He argues that the way most food banks operate tends to diminish the dignity of the people who must use them. Instead, The Stop attempts to serve them in a more respectful and empowering way.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the politics of food. Some parts are a little tedious and preachy, but the personal stories are enjoyable, and the discussion of the logistical aspects of delivering healthy food to so many people is very interesting. I was also happy to learn that Jamie Oliver had given The Stop his endorsement. ( )
1 vote mathgirl40 | Sep 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307360784, Hardcover)

It began as a food bank. It turned into a movement.
In 1998, when Nick Saul became executive director of The Stop, the little urban food bank was like thousands of other cramped, dreary, makeshift spaces, a last-hope refuge where desperate people could stave off hunger for one more day with a hamper full of canned salt, sugar and fat. The produce was wilted and the packaged foods were food-industry castoffs—mislabelled products and misguided experiments that no one wanted to buy. For users of the food bank, knowing that this was their best bet for a meal was a humiliating experience.
Since that time, The Stop has undergone a radical reinvention. Participation has overcome embarrassment, and the isolation of poverty has been replaced with a vibrant community that uses food to build hope and skills, and to reach out to those who need a meal, a hand and a voice. It is now a thriving, internationally respected Community Food Centre with gardens, kitchens, a greenhouse, farmers’ markets and a mission to revolutionize our food system. Celebrities and benefactors have embraced the vision because they have never seen anything like The Stop. Best of all, fourteen years after his journey started, Nick Saul is introducing this neighbourhood success story to the world.
In telling the remarkable story of The Stop’s transformation, Saul and Curtis argue that we need a new politics of food, one in which everyone has a dignified, healthy place at the table. By turns funny, sad and raw, The Stop is a timely story about overcoming obstacles, challenging sacred cows and creating lasting change.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:33 -0400)

"In 1998, when community worker Nick Saul became executive director of The Stop, it was like thousands of other food banks, offering canned handouts in a cramped, dreary, makeshift space. Today it is a thriving, internationally respected Community Food Center with gardens, kitchens, a greenhouse, farmers' markets, and a mission to revolutionize our food system. Their message is spreading: Jamie Oliver told his 750,000 Twitter followers that he'd traveled all over the world and never seen anything like The Stop; Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved, told Alternet he was 'blown away' by this model of an NGO--whose mission is to work for healthy food, strong communities and political empowerment. In a voice that's 'never preachy' (Maclean's), Saul argues that we need a new politics of food in which everyone has a dignified, healthy place at the table."--From publisher description.… (more)

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