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Home > news > New Food Program in Durham Region

(Whitby, Ontario) November 18, 2013.  Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Feed the Need in Durham (FTND) have started a much needed partnership to support the food needs of people with mental health challenges. 

Through the new FTND food partnership, FTND will donate food to three mental health day programs in Durham Region.  This means that individuals at the day programs will have an increased range of healthy food choices.

“Many people who attend day programs can’t afford enough nutritious food,” says Mark Bouwmeester, DMHS day program coordinator. “With this new food donation partnership, we’ve developed a nutrition program that means everyone at the day programs will be able to sit down to a healthy lunch that they’ve prepared together in a safe and supportive environment.”   In addition to the increase in fresh, nutritious food, a big part of the new programming is the opportunity for people to learn cooking skills.

DMHS operates two mental health day programs and participates in a third, in collaboration with Ontario Shores, Rouge Valley Health System, and Community Care Durham.   FTND is a welcome addition to this partnership.  The day programs, in Ajax and Whitby, support people with long standing mental health issues. Mental health day programs give people, who are living in the community, a place to be with other people and to learn and practice new life skills.  More than seventy people attend the day programs every week.

Julien LeBourdais is the Executive Director of FTND.  “We are very pleased to welcome DMHS as a new member agency. Both our organizations are committed to helping marginalized people who do not have regular access to nutritious food. FTND also welcomes the opportunity to assist DMHS in their program to teach cooking skills.”

Feed the need Durham believes that hunger should not be the reason to prevent anyone from the chance to fulfill their potential.  For more information about Feed the Need in Durham, or to donate, please go to

For more information contact:
Mark Bouwmeester
Coordinator of Consumer Survivor Initiatives
Durham Mental Health Services
905-666-0831 Ex 3238