A recent provincial grant administered through the Victoria Foundation’s Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund will soon help low income residents in Greater Victoria access local nutritious food.
The recently announced $350,000 grant will help the Victoria Community Food Hub Society’s Food Connections project continue to link locally produced food and foods recovered from regional grocery stores to a certified kitchen to create value-added projects.
Shelf-stable food is then developed for community programs, markets and schools.
This funding builds on $1.9 million the province provided for the Mustard Seed Food Bank to help buy the Food Security Distribution Centre at 808 Viewfield Road to function as the Capital Region’s food hub.
“It is unacceptable that more than half a million British Columbians experience household food insecurity,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
“We are working with community partners to help those in need get nutritious food.”
The funding will also support the purchase of food-processing equipment for Food Connections, in partnership with the Victoria Community Food Hub Society, to extend the life of local food and decrease food waste.
The equipment will play a vital role in Food Connections’ training kitchen, which provides opportunities for skills development, particularly for limited-income, racialized, Indigenous and newcomer participants.
The training kitchen provides opportunity to learn food handling, processing, sorting and recipe creation to support personal skill development and employability, contributing to the Mustard Seed Food Bank and Victoria Community Food Hub’s distribution through 70 food charity organizations and 3 school district meal programs.
“Food affects many aspects of our life. Every person deserves access to healthy food and the funding provided here will ensure that equitable access continues to be a priority,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation.
“The Victoria Foundation is proud to work collaboratively to increase access to nutritious local food in our region. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to create a vibrant, caring community for all.”