Interview with Rhonda Teitel-Payne of The Stop

As part of this blog, I love to speak to inspirational people who are changing the face of health and wellness – either in their own lives or for a larger audience. That’s why it was such a pleasure to speak with Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Green Barn Manager for the Stop Community Food Centre. Instead of operating like a conventional food bank, The Stop invites people in to eat, make and grow local and healthy food. It’s an amazing community space with lots of events and programs for the population that needs it most as well as the general public. Below is my interview with Rhonda.

“Food is a way of reclaiming and validating who you are and where you came from.”

Rhonda Teitel-Payne wasn’t born with a green thumb. But she earned one – heck, she earned a whole green hand – over the last 13 years.

That’s when she joined The Stop’s Community Food Centre, coordinating both the community kitchen and the community garden activities. She had lots of community experience and a Master’s degree in Social Work, but no gardening experience. “I probably wouldn’t have gotten the job now,” she laughs. “But 13 years ago, there wasn’t such an organized urban agriculture scene, so I was able to get in there and learn from the ground up, so to speak.”

Rhonda is now the Manager of the Green Barn, where she oversees the community garden, the community kitchen, The Stop’s education programs and the Saturday Farmer’s Market. I caught up with Rhonda to talk about her passion and what she brings to the Toronto Food Policy Council.

You can read the full interview on the Toronto Food Policy Council website here.<

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