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Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Our Solidarity Market put on by Innovation Assistance began as a way of addressing food insecurity during the pandemic. By connecting community members to necessary resources at affordable prices, it was a way of meeting practical needs in a difficult season. However, it has become something so much more than a simple shopping experience. Individuals involved at every level have recounted the immense gratitude, connection, and fulfillment they have experienced in the last number of weeks.

One of our volunteer bakers, Marie, is someone who's relationship to the market has taken on an unexpected journey of its own. Marie began looking for ways to connect with the local community by sharing of food during COVID, specifically through a community kitchen that would help combat food insecurity. She had begun to experiment with baking sourdough goods, and was running out of neighbours and roommates to share with. Through a mutual connection, Marie was introduced to our team at Innovation Assistance. It didn't take long before she was fully immersed in our network of volunteers who share a similar passion for community involvement. Her breads now act as an open door between friends, allowing for human connections to develop where there might have otherwise been isolation.

Marie shared that baking bread has been a cathartic journey, as she sees a lot of similarities between the sourdough process and her own life. She shared that sourdough goods, like our own lives, are subject to their environments and they undergo a long, slow process of being transformed into something enjoyable. There is very little she can control over the process, especially once it is underway. She says, "it serves as a reminder that you can't rush things in life, everything grows at its own pace."

Marie says that, while she never planned on having baking be such a huge part of her life, she is thoroughly enjoying it and hopes to one day move into a rental kitchen that would give her more freedom to experiment further with the process. She intends to enjoy the journey for as far as it takes her and say yes to any opportunities that would allow her to participate in warm communities like Innovation Assistance.

Follow her work at @raton_levain on Instagram and come visit our Solidarity Market every second Monday at St. Jax Church, 1439 Rue Ste-Catherine O to try some bread for yourself!

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