The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture has announced it will give $50,000 to fund a feasibility study for a food–processing hub in the Capital Regional District (CRD).
The study will look at the viability of the Food Security Distribution Centre as a regional food hub. The aim of the food hub is to connect local food producers with specialized equipment, expertise, and space to grow their businesses while securing greater food sustainability for the region. The current 22,000-square-foot centre is in Esquimalt and was acquired in June by The Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank. This was made possible thanks to funding from Vancity, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and the Victoria Foundation.
The Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR) also called for the funding, as did the South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP), which mobilized their members to support the initiative. SIPP interim CEO Bruce Williams said his group supported the application as it hopes it will help agricultural businesses develop and lead to more jobs and capacity in the sector.
“The Food Security Distribution Centre will now see a broad range of partners come together to determine how to expand its infrastructure and services to support farmers and food producers, as well as promoting social good through food rescue and redistribution,” said Linda Geggie, executive director of CRFAIR. “The addition of a food hub has been a high priority for the region for some time and is a key part of the good food strategy to build more viable and robust local food systems.”
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