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Pay-what-you-can Kin Market, Café opens at YMCA locations

Calgary’s got a new café and market, but at this one, you pay what you can before leaving.

Leftovers Foundation, in partnership with YMCA Calgary and Fresh Routes officially launched the Kin Cafe and Kin Market Tuesday. 

It’s a location where all Calgarians can buy healthy, fresh groceries and enjoy a coffee, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the number of Canadians served by community food organizations has increased by 72 per cent. Many of our neighbours are struggling to access fresh, healthy food or don’t have the disposable income to purchase a coffee and treat,” said Paul Annunziello, Kin program manager.

“At Kin, whether you need to fill your fridge to feed your family, or have coffee and a donut, this will be an inclusive space where you can find what you need regardless of your ability to pay.” 

The locations

The Kin Market, where Calgarians can buy fresh fruit, veggies and basics like bread and eggs, is open at the Shawnessy YMCA on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the Saddletowne YMCA on Monday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m.

The Kin Coffee cart will be located at the YMCA Shawnessy from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. It will also have goodies from Ritual Doughnuts.

The YMCA said it’s a great example of two organizations coming together with the same goal.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Leftovers Foundation on the new Kin project. Bringing affordable fresh food and coffee to the community is a great service and is in keeping with our values and mission,” said Shannon Doram, President and CEO of YMCA Calgary.

Local philanthropist Zai Mamdani, creator of the YYC Food Security Fund, said this initiative allows people to dine with dignity.

“The concept of dining with dignity is focused on empowering people struggling with food access to choose fresh, healthy, local options that are culturally appropriate, and in line with their dietary needs,” said Mamdani.

 To find out more information on Kin, and learn how to become a volunteer, visit https://weareallkin.ca/.