Carol VandenEngel and Glenn Green are paddling across Canada to help you eat your vegetables.
The pair are promoting the food security charity Loving Spoonful by canoeing from Vancouver to their hometown of Kingston, Ont. Their journey included a pit stop in Nelson earlier this week.
Green said Loving Spoonful, which is also based in Kingston, teaches how to grow and harvest food as well as prepare meals.
“In Kingston and that area of Ontario, people don’t have access to healthy, fresh food,” he said. “Whether it be mobility issues or it’s an illness that they have or lack of skills that aren’t present. Everyone should have the right to eat healthy food. It is expensive to eat healthy food, but by growing food, learning how to harvest the food and preparing meals from it, that’s a way to curb that.”
Last year they paddled the first leg from Ottawa to Sydney, N.S., and started this year’s trip on May 5 with the hope they’ll be done by October.
Their route sticks close to the Canada-U.S. border until Alberta where they begin moving north. Then in Manitoba they turn south once more on a route that eventually takes them across Lake Superior toward Ottawa and Kingston.
VandenEngel said they have been canoeing recreationally for 15-to-20 years, and that it made sense to get back in the water for what will be a journey of 8,515 kilometres.
“We really have a passion for the outdoors,” said VandenEngel. “We’ve travelled abroad quite a bit and thought let’s see our own beautiful country and what better way from the canoe. We’ve been canoeing and seeing the water ways and it’s spectacular.”
To follow VandenEngel and Green’s journey or make a donation to Loving Spoonful, visit canoeforchange.ca.