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The Stop

How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement

British super chef Jamie Oliver called it “amazing,” telling his fans he’d traveled all over the world and never seen anything like it. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman called it, “one of those forward-thinking groups pointing the way to the future of good food.” Raj Patel, critically acclaimed author of Stuffed and Starved, said he was “blown away” by it.

So what is it?

The Stop, a Community Food Center that has revolutionized the way we combat hunger and poverty.

Since community worker Nick Saul became executive director of The Stop in 1998, it has been transformed from a cramped food bank to a thriving, internationally respected Community Food Center. The Stop has flourished with gardens, kitchens, a greenhouse, farmers’ markets, and a mission to revolutionize our food system. In a voice that’s “never preachy” (Maclean’s), Saul and Curtis share what The Stop could mean for the future of food, and argue that everyone deserves a dignified, healthy place at the table.

NICK SAUL was executive director of The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto from 1998 to 2012 and is a recipient of the prestigious Jane Jacobs Prize and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He is now president and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, a non-profit organization that will bring the innovations of The Stop to communities across Canada. You can follow Nick on Twitter @njsaul.

ANDREA CURTIS  is an award-winning writer and editor. Her family memoir, Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck, won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Curtis’s first children’s book is What’s for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndreaPCurtis.

Saul and Curtis live with their two boys in Toronto.

You can follow Community Food Centres on Twitter @aplaceforfood.

“The riveting inside story of a food bank that through perseverance and principle turned itself into one of our most visionary movements for justice and equality.”—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo

“An impassioned account of how to create food systems that foster independence and eliminate the indignities of charity. Saul and Curtis put a human face on poverty. If you want to know what today’s food movement is really about—and why it is anything but elitist—read this book.”—Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of What to Eat

“In clear and honest prose, [Saul and Curtis] share their struggles and hope with plain talk through tough decisions. How better to learn about ending hunger than through the story of a former food bank whose aim was to put itself out of business?”—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved