The Grendel Group
The Grendel Group is a unique charitable organization established in 2000, dedicated to offering programs for skills training and meaningful work experience for individuals with disabilities within the Bulkley Valley. The Group has chosen to use food programs to achieve their goals of inclusiveness, education, life skills, healthy living and food security. To this end, they operate two very successful programs that benefit all residents of the Bulkley Valley: GRENDELivery (a catering service) and GRENDELGrow (a gardening program).
GRENDELivery provides catering to meetings, offices, events and individuals within the community. In that process, participant workers enhance their quality of life and their capacity for community employment and social networking. GRENDELivery is developing a job-ready workforce of individuals with disabilities and creating broad community buy-in to social enterprise. The Grendel participants assist with food preparation, delivery, serving, customer service, clean-up, and shopping tasks. GRENDELGrow is a gardening program in which the participants grow and produce over 30 different kinds of fruits and vegetables. This produce is the key ingredient in the catered meals, is used in the participants’ lunches, sold at Nature’s Pantry Health Food Store, the Farmers’ Market, and to Groundbreakers Cooperative.
Together GRENDELivery and GRENDELGrow are about learning while growing and preparing healthy food. This allows participants to reinforce links between personal effort and individual reward. Community members value the skills of the individuals with disabilities. They recognize them as actively participating and contributing to the community with delicious and healthy meals, and highly productive and aesthetically pleasing gardens. The community also benefits by having more naturally-grown, fresh and local produce available, therefore ensuring food security in our community.
Meet The Grendel Group
Meet The Grendel Group
The Grendel Group is a unique social enterprise organization aimed at helping individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities to develop practical employment skills through catering and gardening. Not only do program participants learn important skills, President Nancy Cody adds that they also develop a sense of pride and self-esteem as well as a deep connection to the environment and the community.
The Grendel Group operates several gardens and greenhouses in the area which are fully staffed by program participants. Some garden space has been donated, such as the greenhouses next to the Grendel Group property, by private members of the community. Nancy notes that the community of Smithers has been tremendously supportive of the organization. Many of their biggest supporters are local people and businesses using the services of GRENDELivery catering. The staff and Board of the Grendel Group are grateful for the overwhelming support of the community and are proud to be able to promote sustainable, healthy eating in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved, from participants to donors to staff and volunteers.