A Victoria restaurant is helping people experiencing food insecurity plant food gardens in their backyards.
Big Wheel Burger Community Foundation is sponsoring a new initiative by the Food Eco District called My FED Farm, which will supply families and laid-off workers a food garden kit to help support their own food needs.
Each Friday, beginning in late April and early May, FED will deliver the kits and help install them, along with a food-growing consultation to ensure each home has everything they need to get started.
Calen McNeil, co-owner of Big Wheel Burgers and Zambri’s, says the aim of the initiative is to get 500 backyard gardens started over the next four months.
The initiative is focused on people living near the poverty line but who are on the outside of the “social safety net,” along with immunocompromised people who are unable to leave their homes and front line workers, such as nurses and doctors but also grocery store workers.
McNeil and team have been pitching in to help the community however they can. They’ve already set up a delivery network to get 22 families two meals a week, along with providing meals to local seniors homes and other community facilities. They even set up in the parking lot of the Royal Jubilee Hospital to give away prepared meals that just needed to be put in the oven so that hospital workers could feed their families and not worry about going to a grocery store.
“[Supporting the community] is something we’ve always done but we’re ready to do it in a bigger way now,” says McNeil. “Now is the time to really ramp up those efforts and focus on community versus profit and ourselves.”
He says now is the time for a shift in the way business is done to help support those who need it most.
“The capitalist model doesn’t work, it doesn’t serve the benefit of the people,” he says. “[This is the time] to encourage businesses to think about community first.”
To apply for a food garden kit — which contains a number of planters, soil, started plants and seeds — or to volunteer visit get-fed.ca.