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Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-operative receives $15,000 to help Saskatoon youth develop skills

Jul 30, 2013

SASKATOON, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - The Co-operators today announced a grant of $15,000 to Saskatoon's Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-operative (CNYC). The funding will support CNYC's "Growing Our Future" project, which will provide opportunities for inner-city youth in Saskatoon to develop skills and knowledge related to sustainable food production. The grant is provided through The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development Fund.

Established in 1996, the CNYC helps primarily aboriginal youth build skills and access education outside of the regular school system and workforce. It provides opportunities to develop skills through hands-on programming and community outreach, and promotes cooperation, sustainability, leadership skills and environmental principles.

The "Growing Our Future" project will accept 25 to 30 youth from inner city Saskatoon between the ages of 15 and 25. Participants will learn about horticulture, the environment, raised bed gardening, composting, canning, preserving and aquaponics - a sustainable food production system combining raising aquatic animals with cultivating plants in water.

"Thanks in large part to the funds we received from The Co-operators, CNYC has been able to leap-frog our projections for a sustainable, economically viable youth-run greenhouse and aquaponics system," said Dave Shanks, Executive Director Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-operative. In partnership with the Saskatoon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, we have already engaged 5 under-served youth in the project, and have seen a remarkable spike in interest from the community in general in what is happening here. The skills that the youth are learning in the greenhouse will directly transfer into employment skills enabling them to either continue with the 'Growing our Future' project, or find meaningful, sustainable employment in the horticulture industry. Best of all… they are having fun at the same time."

The Co-operators Community Economic Development Fund was established in 1995 to support programs and organizations that help disadvantaged people gain skills and move toward self-reliance. The fund is part of The Co-operators Foundation which supports social enterprises, co-operatives, charitable organizations, and non-profits throughout Canada.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit

SOURCE: The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

Dave Shanks
Executive Director
Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op

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