Pregnant with her second child, Amanda was all too familiar with the feeling of isolation that can happen as a new mom.
“I knew I wanted to make connections with other moms and build more of a support system this time,” said Amanda. A neighbour recommended the pre-natal program at the Dartmouth Family Centre and Amanda felt immediately welcomed, accepted and connected.
In addition to the quality programs built to support families like Amanda’s in the Dartmouth North community, Amanda said sometimes the best part the Family Centre was simply being able to have a place to go to grab a few minutes of rest on the couch after a sleepless night while staff cared for her newborn daughter, Aubrey.
It was a Family Centre staff member who suggested Amanda participate in a leadership program at the newly opened Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. When the issue of childcare came up, they immediately offered to look after her kids while she was in the program. “That was a really pivotal moment for me,” said Amanda. “I felt so supported and wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity because I couldn’t afford a babysitter.”
Today, Amanda is a regular fixture at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. She’s a peer advocate, market leader, co-facilitator of a Food Fit program and a part-time kitchen assistant. This work has opened up a passion in her to talk about issues in her neighbourhood over food. “We bring food to community conversation.”
She says the Dartmouth Family Resource Centre and now the Food Centre believed in her before she believed in herself. They saw her leadership qualities and provided opportunities for her to grow and contribute.
I really feel like I belong to this community and I couldn’t be prouder.