From left to right: Carole Nadeau, Community Worker and President of the Board; Wilda Landry, Director of Centre d'activités Le Lien Inc.; and Manon L. Pitre, Coordinator of the New Brunswick Mental Health Consumer Network Inc. and Vice-president-Treasurer of the Board
It all started in February 2014, during a discussion at a meeting of the Centre d'activités Lien Inc. With the cuts in health care, we knew that some services would be reduced for the center's clients. Some benefited from the services of community workers who provided transportation for their medical appointments, groceries, activities and outings that are beneficial to their physical and mental health. These cuts would affect those customers who are mostly people with limited financial resources. We knew it would be difficult for them to cover the costs of traveling. Our fear was that they neglect their health because of this lack of transportation.
We began to evaluate the possibility of setting up a mental health transportation system in collaboration with the Centre d"activités Le Lien Inc., which had just purchased a minivan, and who agreed to put it at our disposal.
Carole Nadeau, community worker at the Mental Health Center, being a member of the Community Inclusion Network of the North West (CINNW) Board, aware of the transportation problem in our region, took this issue in hand.
According to the results of the province's poverty reduction plan, the lack of transportation is the first point for our region. As this problem became a priority for CINNW, Carole became aware of the budgets available through the CINNW. to set up a transport service.
A group of concerned individuals made up of Carole Nadeau (Community worker), Manon L. Pitre (Coordinator of the New Brunswick Mental Health Consumer Network Inc.) and Wilda Landry (Director of the Centre d'activités Le Lien Inc.) worked for one year to set up this service so that the population in need in our region can benefit of an affordable transportation service.
In March 2017, the service took a new direction focusing on the issue of food security. Following visits to organizations offering fruit and vegetable distribution programs, and following interviews with key groups such as the NB Food Security Action Network, we have been able to mount a project creation folder. Subsequently, partnerships were put in place to launch the project. In September 2017, the wellness component officially came into existence and the distribution of fruit and vegetable baskets at a cost price for low-income people in the Edmundston region began.