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Runners bank on crunchy help from granola sales

Michael Cameron, front left, enjoys a bite of Granola That Counts with members of the Every Step Counts running group and coordinator Gillie Easdon, far right, at the Cloverdale Thrifty Foods. - Travis Paterson/News staff
Michael Cameron, front left, enjoys a bite of Granola That Counts with members of the Every Step Counts running group and coordinator Gillie Easdon, far right, at the Cloverdale Thrifty Foods.
— image credit: Travis Paterson/News staff

A local running group has cooked up an 870-pound batch of homemade granola to support their cause.

For the past two years Gillie Easdon has spent time in her home mixing up batches of granola for the members of Every Step Counts, the running group for people dealing with issues of mental health, housing, addiction and more.

And now granola will not only be served at Every Step Counts, it will also be sold, as the community has rallied around Easdon to create Granola That Counts. The recipe of oats, dried cranberries, coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and dates is based on the same batches Easdon tinkered with.

“Food and nutrition is a big part of our meetings, we run, stretch and eat,” she said during the official launch at Cloverdale Thrifty Foods last Thursday (Jan. 8).

As the coordinator for Every Step Counts, Easdon felt it her duty to serve the granola, mixed with a dollop of organic yoghurt, to her fellow runners following the group’s twice-weekly running sessions at the Downtown Community Centre on Pandora Avenue.

“We’re indebted to Canoe Brewpub for giving us the space and letting us make 870 pounds of granola over the holiday season and now it’s ready to go,” Easdon said.

The production included a rotating army of volunteers, overseen by former Devour restaurant owner Jena Stewart, of Team Chef and Truffles Catering.

Every Step Counts is operated by the Cool Aid Society and also funded by the Victoria Foundation, but Easdon wanted to see it become sustainable.

“Last year I was talking to people about making this a sustainable program and someone said, you need a product or an event,” Easdon said. “Well, we have our product … and we are so fortunate to have generous businesses behind our runners and this product.”

Granola That Counts is sold by the pound for $9.99 and is available in all 11 regional Thrifty Foods stores. Victoria Box and Paper Ltd. donated packaging and display materials for the stores. Six hundred and sixty runners have come through the Every Step Counts program since it started in 2009.

Visit coolaid.org to donate.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

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