Season Two - Episode Eleven - Candace Gabriel
Candace Gabriel really is the perfect person to run Saskatoon's Summer Snack Program. For the past 33 years, this program has provided children and their families with free and nutritious meals in parks across the city during the summer months. Candace has been the program's coordinator for the last nine years and has seen the positive impact something as simple as a sandwich can have.
When Candace and her family first moved to Saskatoon, their financial situation was challenging. Her daughters made the most of the the Summer Snack Program in their neighbourhood park, but Candace had to overcome feelings of embarrassment before she felt comfortable asking for help. That experience has given her a profound sense of empathy which helps her in so many ways.
My friend Hailey Burnett texted me last December after seeing Candace speak at a United Way of Saskatoon event and said "you need to have this woman on your podcast!" She was right. Candace opens up in this episode about her experiences struggling to put enough food on the table for her family and how those times have made her a better leader for the Summer Snack Program. She also talks about the meaningful connections made with the kids who show up every day to the park for a meal and how Covid-19 will impact this summer's programming.
I have lived a very sheltered and privileged life. I can't remember a time as a kid when I was worried about where my next meal would come from. Spending a morning with Candace and hearing her story has opened my eyes to the local food security challenges many families face in our community.
I feel very lucky to have spoken with Candace. Her kindness and incredible empathy make her a community leader. I think these two qualities really come through in this episode.
This is the final episode of Season Two. I want to thank all of you for listening, subscribing and supporting this local, independent podcast! It really does mean the world to me and I feel honoured to have spoken with so many incredible people this season. I'll be taking July and August off to gather interviews and prepare for Season Three which launches on September 10th.
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Thank you again for all of your support! Have a safe and wonderful summer and we'll talk with you soon.