Colin Tessier (Threshold Housing), Matthew Kemshaw (Lifestyles Food Project), Derek Pace (Mustard Seed), Daisy Orser (Root Cellar), Tammy Averill (Country Grocer), Adrienne Murdoch (Country Grocer), Ralf Mundel (Thrifty Foods) and Sandra Richardson (Victoria Foundation) are members of the Food Rescue Project. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Grocers come together to launch Victoria Foundation’s Island Food Caring campaign

Campaign supports the Food Rescue Project

A set of five local grocery stores have put the usual rigours of competition aside to come together to further support the Food Rescue Project.

The Victoria Foundation is behind the new campaign, Island Food Caring, and met with all five grocery store operators at Threshold Housing’s Oak Bay house on Granite Street to announce the new initiative.

Victoria Foundation will match every dollar up to $25,000 throughout the campaign, which runs June 1 to 23.

Fairway Markets vice president Robert Jay said that 14 per cent of the region’s population are food insecure, meaning their meals are not planned ahead of time, and that money for groceries is scarce. Fairway Market is one of the participating grocery stores with Country Grocer, Red Barn Market, The Root Cellar and Thrifty Foods supporting the campaign.

READ MORE: New Mustard Seed kitchen built by volunteers

“That’s roughly 50,000 people who are food insecure,” Jay said. “It’s families, children, youth, seniors, and our neighbours who don’t always know when their next meal is coming.”

It means not being able to live full and healthy lives, he added. It also has a negative affect on learning outcomes for youth.

“This is unacceptable,” Jay said. “In an affluent region such as Greater Victoria, no one should go hungry.”

READ ALSO: Game changing program to combat food waste to expand across B.C.

Five years ago the Mustard Seed, Our Place, Cool Aid, Threshold Housing and other agencies came together to create a food sharing plan. With leadership from the Victoria Foundation, that partnership turned into the Food Rescue Project which launched about two years ago and has been growing ever since.

“We had some food sharing before but now it was on a smaller scale and it wasn’t as consistent,” said Derek Pace, executive director of Mustard Seed. “The Food Rescue Project delivers 4,000 pounds a day, to 46 agencies in the network.”

Last year a purpose-built kitchen and warehouse was created for the Food Rescue Project in Esquimalt. It’s become a model that volunteers in other municipalities are looking to adopt, said Sandra Richardson, CEO of Victoria Foundation.

The warehouse and kitchen will be the focus of a tour for visitors to the Community Foundations Conference, June 6 to 8, Richardson said.

“Victoria Foundation got its start as a soup kitchen, 83 years ago, in the Sunshine Inn on Pandora Avenue,” Richardson said. “Food has been a big part of its work since the beginning. A woman donated $20 to start the Victoria Foundation, and in those days, that was a lot of money.”

“Victoria Foundation has been a catalyst for this all to work,” said Colin Tessier, executive director of Threshold Housing. The youth housing charity has four houses, one of them the house beside Oak Bay United Church. “Victoria Foundation has had the leadership and funding to support the Food Rescue Project’s growth.”

To donate visit Islandfoodcaring.ca.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Daisy Orser. She is a co-owner of the Root Cellar. We apologize for the error.

Just Posted

Saanich councillors slow to respond for feedback on council procedures

Among calls for procedural changes, staff still waiting to hear from six councillors

Saanich sponsors Jeux de la Francophonie giving $50,000 for the French-language Games

Couns. Susan Brice and Nathalie Chambers opposed funding, citing substantive and procedural concerns

VicPD arrest reportedly armed man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

The man was found near Centennial Square on Tuesday afternoon

Port Renfrew man charged with animal cruelty

Hot coffee poured on dog’s face, say police

Sarah McLachlan performs and donors raise $555,000 for inclusive outdoor activities

Power To Be reached their fundraising goal at their Nature Gala on July 12

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read