The L’Arche Cape Breton community is coming to Sydney this weekend in the hopes of improving the lives of members and non-members living with special needs in rural Cape Breton.
At the heart of L’Arche Cape Breton are people with intellectual disabilities and those who choose to share life with them. It is their mission to create homes and to provide meaningful work for all community members.
One of the primary responsibilities of L’Arche Cape Breton is ensuring all have access to proper health and nutrition. Over the past few months, L’Arche Cape Breton has been trying to meet this need with The Sunflour, a small bakery operated by L’Arche members that produces bread and other food products specifically designed to meet these health goals – and also to taste delicious!
“Where can someone with diabetes or celiac disease find healthy, safe, homemade food in rural Cape Breton?” asked L’Arche spokeswoman Josie MacEachern. “With the increasing demand for local, organic food, and people’s desire to eat a healthier, more balanced diet, it is becoming more and more obvious that the food products available in rural Cape Breton are severely lacking.”
“And what opportunities exist for people with disabilities to access education and employment in the production of healthy, tasty food that also satisfies their medical and dietary needs?”
So far, the project has been met with rave reviews, however, L’Arche has identified a gap in both the skills of their members and in the products available in the area to fulfill both of these needs. It is currently fund-raising to complete renovations on the building that houses their newest day programs for resident and non-residents – The Sunflour Bakery and The Old Hen Café.
L’Arche hopes to take this little “Sunflour” seed and see it grow into a sustainable and profitable operation, a business that is more than a sheltered workshop, more than a bakery, but a concrete example of the values and mission of L’Arche in action.
“With the philosophy of L’Arche as the inspiration, this bakery will be a local store with a global flavour,” Ms. MacEachern said. “It will showcase the benefit of meaningful work that is a source of dignity and fulfillment for the people involved. This endeavour will not only provide a much-needed product to the local area, but will help to change society by spreading the values of L’Arche to the wider world.”
On Saturday, May 26, starting at 7:30 pm at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, the folks of L’Arche Cape Breton will share their incredibly special gifts of music, song, drama, and zest for life when an evening of food and fun will be offered during an auction of donated items from many Cape Breton-based companies and government departments. It will certainly be an evening to remember!!
Tickets at $15 each and are available at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop, Charlotte Street and at Wentworth Perk, George Street.
In the words of Jean Vanier, “L’Arche wants to seek new ways of living universal peace where all people, especially the poor and the weak, are held in honour, respected and received.”
For further information, contact Tera Camus in Sydney at 567-6328 or 567-1909.