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Starling Community Services.

Cooking up Confidence at The Raw Carrot

Luke and Dagmar at Raw Carrot 2
Luke and Dagmar at Raw Carrot 2
Luke and Dagmar at Raw Carrot

Finding a fulfilling job is never an easy task, and when you have a disability, it can be even harder. Living with anxiety and depression since he was a teenager, Luke struggled to build up his resume and confidence as a young adult. He enjoyed volunteering at local shelters and had a certificate in food service, but he couldn’t find meaningful employment on his own.

That’s when he came to Lutherwood’s Achieving Competitive Employment (ACE) program. Staff were able to work with him and his strengths to connect him with one of our partner employers, The Raw Carrot. He has been successfully and happily employed with the organization ever since.

Starting out of a Mennonite Church in Paris and growing to several locations, The Raw Carrot is a social enterprise whose mission is to hire individuals on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to help supplement their income. Workers cook, package and distribute soups to farmer’s markets and retailers across Ontario, with profits going right back to paying their employees.

“Since Luke has started his work at The Raw Carrot, I’ve seen his confidence grow,” said Luke’s mother Dagmar. “He looks forward to going to work and finds the environment safe and supportive. He really enjoys the work and the team - in fact, he hasn't missed a single day of work since starting two years ago!”

Dagmar was so inspired by the change she saw in her son that she recently started volunteering with the organization to help with their marketing and social media presence.

“Much like Lutherwood, I loved seeing the good The Raw Carrot was doing for people in the community and for those with disabilities,” Dagmar said. “I see such an opportunity for real growth so that they can help even more people. I’m recently retired from the field and figured I’d offer my services to help spread the word!”

Locally, you can support Lutherwood clients like Luke and others employed at The Raw Carrot by buying their soups from stores like Farm Boy, Vincenzo’s and Central Fresh Market and Other Retail Partners. You can also order soup right to your door with their Online Store.

If you are struggling to find employment, Lutherwood Employment Services are still here to help you throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I like the idea of 'collective impact.' Instead of individual organizations each working towards our own impact, Lutherwood brought us together with other mental health service providers to pool resources and ideas for a national impact."