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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read