Some recipes are simple, like making toast. Some recipes are a bit more complicated, like making croissants. Others are inherently complex, like Enough for All, the city-wide, community-driven poverty reduction strategy guided by Vibrant Communities Calgary. Complex recipes do not follow a step-by-step process. In fact, Enough for All is less a recipe than a series of dishes that can create a banquet of potential community prosperity.
You can approach such a banquet with clear strategic intentions, but you must expect it to be more like a potluck gathering than a menu over which you have strict control. You will be only one of many guests, and each guest will come with their own strategic intentions, and their own way of preparing and serving a meal.
Many individuals and organizations are contributing to the Enough for All banquet. We present here the dishes that Momentum has been cooking up with our community partners as we work together to make sure there is enough for all in Calgary.
If you choose to cook up Enough for All in your community, know that there is no one right way to do it. How it works for you will all depend on the community within which—and with which—you work. Making it a community endeavour will bring together the kitchen help and the ingredients you need to succeed.
We encourage you to bring your own recipes to the Enough for All kitchen. The more we cook together, the better we will get.
For all the dishes at this banquet
- A clear vision of a community where no human being is deprived of the resources, means, choices and power to acquire and maintain self-sufficiency while being able to be an active participant in society
- Conviction that the vision is achievable, and passion for making it so
- Strong, collaborative relationships with Vibrant Communities Calgary and many other community partners
- Support from the City of Calgary and the United Way of Calgary and Area
- Active participation in the Financial Empowerment Collaborative and its Community of Practice
- An understanding of the root causes of poverty
- Models of asset-building and poverty reduction that have proven effective
- A strategic commitment to making a bigger difference in relieving poverty
- A willingness to share expertise grounded in strong program results
- Flexibility and a willingness to learn from others
- Patience and perseverance—these are slow-cooker dishes, and require time
Dish #1: Everyone in Calgary has the income and assets needed to thrive
This recipe involves a lot of steps. Unlike traditional recipes, however, the steps listed here are not sequential, nor are they necessarily dependent upon one another except in the sense that, together, they create a meal that will nourish our vision of community prosperity. Momentum has been directly involved with the following three steps.
Take the knowledge that we can break the cycle of poverty when children living on low income have access to post-secondary education. Add Momentum’s StartSmart program, which supports our participants in opening Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for their children. Combine with the training we offer our Financial Empowerment Collaborative partners to do the same with their participants. Celebrate the fact that, between us, we opened almost twice as many RESPs in 2016 than in any year to date.
Portion size: Over 700 RESPs opened directly by Momentum and our community partners in 2016
Begin with the understanding that not only income, but assets, are key ingredients to exiting poverty. Use that knowledge to offer Momentum’s matched-savings programs, in which participants set aside money regularly in matched-savings accounts to purchase assets such as education, tools for work, and homes. At the end of each program, match the savings of any participants who have successfully met their savings goal. Supplement by working with five Financial Empowerment Collaborative partners to help them design and deliver their own matched-savings programs, tailored to their programs and their participants.
Portion size: 96 new participant matched-savings accounts opened through our community partnerships in 2016
Safe and affordable financial products
Mix together years of work with government to change policy around payday lending, and with financial institutions to create alternatives. Allow the time necessary for results to rise to the surface. Celebrate the passage of the provincial Act to End Predatory Lending in May 2016, which takes Alberta from one of the most expensive places in the country to get short-term, low-dollar credit to the most affordable. Add to the celebration the creation of the Cash Crunch loan by First Calgary Financial, the first affordable loan alternative to payday loans available in southern Alberta, based on the Cash Crunch pilot project with Momentum.
Portion size: 1 new provincial policy, and 1 new financial product in 2016
Dish #2: All Aboriginal peoples are equal participants in Calgary’s prosperous future
We are actively working on this recipe, and present it here as an appetizer. This is what we know so far:
- Thirty per cent of Indigenous people in Calgary live in poverty.
- We have chosen very deliberately to make a meaningful contribution to changing that statistic.
- We have a lot to learn about how to become better partners to Indigenous communities.
- We need to build relationships, and create programs that are welcoming and valuable.
- All the while, we need to stay true to the purpose and meaning of Momentum.
- As for now, we are still gathering ingredients, and deciding how best to put them together. Please be in touch if you’re interested in tasting more.
Reprinted from food.com and artlovelight.com
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup milk or water
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries, or other fruit of your choice
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Work in the butter or margarine using your hands until you make a nice crumble.
- Gradually mix in the milk or water to make it soft, but not sticky. Knead until consistently mixed.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet, then flatten into a circle about one inch thick.
- If adding fruit, mix flour, sugar and blueberries together. Spread mixture evenly across the flattened dough, then fold the dough in half so the blueberries are in the middle.
- Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.