Na-Me-Res Shares the Impact of Fruit

Our #FollowTheFruit story features one of the neighbourhood agencies we share fruit with, Na-Ma-Res (Native Men’s Residence). 

Na-Ma-Res works to foster and maintain a healthy sense of community, cooperation and self-worth through the promotion of traditional Native culture and values. Their Sagatay (A New Beginning) program provides residents with the opportunity to develop the resources required to succeed in an urban environment as strong, self-confident Aboriginal men. We spoke with Pavan Pahal, Interim Program Manager for Na-Ma-Res.

What are some of the challenges your community is dealing with?

Pavan: Many of the men who we work with are struggling with addiction and mental health issues. These illnesses are often rooted in historical trauma, sometimes related to their family. Given their situation, almost all of them face significant barriers to gaining meaningful employment.

What does community mean to you and how important is it for people to get engaged in their community?

Community means recognizing all parts of an individual. It’s only when we can truly see the complete individual that we become aware of our similarities – and then use our common goals and interests to truly connect and bridge the divide between people.

What impact has our fruit delivery service had on your organization?

Like many non-profit organizations, we are often limited by budgetary constraints, and purchasing fresh produce is often beyond our reach. Not Far From The Tree’s donation of fruit is terrific as it helps provide fresh food at no cost to the organization.

Like many non-profit organizations, we are often limited by budgetary constraints, and purchasing fresh produce is often beyond our reach. Not Far From The Tree’s donation of fruit is terrific as it helps provide fresh food at no cost to the organization.

What impact has our fruit delivery had on your residents?

We try to create an environment that is as homey and comfortable as possible. Delicious and nutritious food is definitely part of this, and it’s important that the men in Sagatay have access to food that will make them feel emotionally and physically healthy. The variety of fruit donated by Not Far From The Tree has been truly beneficial.

At Sagatay we recognize that cooking is an act of community building, and the donated fruit makes its way into many recipes. Making meals and snacks are also a way to grow the community within the house. Food is one of the mechanisms that truly brings the group together.

The sharing of fresh fruit also makes the men feel special and important. Rather than unwanted canned food from the back of someone’s panty, a donation of wholesome, fresh fruit says a great deal. It says that as a community we care to provide the very best food that is available.

Rather than unwanted canned food from the back of someone’s panty, a donation of wholesome, fresh fruit says a great deal. It says that as a community we care to provide the very best food that is available.

Not Far From The Tree is an organization that brings people together around food, which is an important tool for building strong communities.

Can you give us an example of what you did with the fruit you received from Not Far From The Tree?

We use the fruit in many recipes! We’ve made a great use of apples, including apple sauce, apple crisp and apple crumble. We’ve also fond of cherry cheesecake, a pear reduction sauce that we serve over pork chops, fruit salad and we even enjoy the fruit raw! So you can see, we make excellent use of the fruit we receive.

Further Reading

Picking & Preserving with Romero House

A “Picking Blitz” with LoyaltyOne