Better support for food security in Lower Mainland

People in the Lower Mainland will soon have access to safer and more nutritious food sources through a new grant for local food security projects.

Sources Community Resources Society will receive $191,976 in provincial funding through Victoria Foundation’s new Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund. The integrated Food Hub and job-skills program, in partnership with Dan’s Legacy, will provide Surrey, Burnaby, White Rock and Langley with food-based employment and skills training for youth aging out of foster care, Indigenous youth, women survivors of gendered-based violence and new Canadians.

“Food security is an important part of a healthy, vibrant and inclusive community – and part of that is education, awareness and skills training,” said Gary Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guilford. “This grant brings funding directly to the Sources Community Resources Society so that the organization can expand programs that help people learn food-based employment skills, find new opportunities and foster a strong local food hub.”

The Province provided $3 million to the Victoria Foundation in March 2019. Of that, $1.9 million went to the Mustard Seed Food Bank to help buy its food security distribution centre for southern Vancouver Island. The remaining $1.1 million helped establish the new Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund. The integrated Food Hub and job-skills program is one of the first five projects receiving a total of $665,695. Additional grant recipients will be announced in 2020.

TogetherBC, the Province’s first poverty reduction strategy, was released earlier in 2019 as a cross-government plan to reduce poverty. The Victoria Foundation grant supports the Province’s work by helping organizations develop local food security programs to increase inclusion, make food more affordable, support better opportunities and continue to focus on reconciliation in communities in B.C.

Addressing poverty is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction —

“When people have access to safe, secure and culturally appropriate food sources, it creates a more inclusive community that can better support the well-being of the people who live there. We will continue to reduce poverty in our province by supporting organizations that understand local issues.”

Denise Darrell, executive director, Sources Community Resources Centre —

“With these funds, we will be able to take the first step to mitigate food insecurity in our community. While we continue our work to rescue and redirect food that would otherwise go to waste, we will integrate a culinary training program to provide skills training and create job opportunities for people who have significant barriers to educational and employment opportunities. Thanks to this grant, the Sources Food Hub is a stronger, more sustainable and more effective program.”

Sandra Richardson, chief executive officer, Victoria Foundation —

“Food insecurity doesn’t look the same in every community. The Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund is an opportunity for us to partner with local organizations that understand what their communities need. These communities already have the knowledge. The grants from this fund will give them the means to help create and strengthen local food systems and economies.”

Quick Facts:

  • Food Security – Provincial Initiatives Fund recipients:
    • Carrier Sekani Family Services – $114,257
    • Nuxalk Nation – $114,433
    • Sources Community Resources Society – $191,976
    • Southern Stl’atl’imx Charitable Society – $216,859
    • First Nations Emergency Services Society – $28,170
  • More than 500,000 British Columbians experience some level of household food insecurity.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy: https://gov.bc.ca/togetherbc

The Victoria Foundation’s food security initiatives: https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/food-rescue-project/

Sources Community Resource Society: https://www.sourcesbc.ca/

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