Some of the produce grown at Newman Farm, a community farm in the CRD. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

$50,000 feasibility study coming for CRD food–processing hub

Community groups hope hub will lead to jobs, increased revenue, more sustainability

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.

ALSO READ: Newman Farm feeds the hungry and intrigues political decision makers

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.”

ALSO READ: Just want to catch the bus from Butchart Gardens? You still have to pay full entry price

SIPP is the economic development organization for Greater Victoria and is comprised of 50 members. These include 10 local governments, seven First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine industry associations and nonprofits, and nearly 30 major employers. More information can be found at southislandprosperity.ca.

CRFAIR is a regional coordinating body for the Good Food Network – roughly 100 food, farm and health organizations that work together to implement the good food strategy. The organization has been active in the Capital Region for over a decade and has worked on a range of projects including the launch of the Downtown Public Market, the Vision Sandown initiative, the Foodlands Trust, the annual Farmer2Farmer conference and the creation of the Capital Region Food System Outcomes Map. Visit crfair.ca for more information.

ALSO READ: Lack of doctors causing frustration for patients

The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors, allowing them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. More information can be found at victoriafoundation.ca.

The Mustard Seed Church and Food Bank serves an average of 5,000 individuals each month and works with more than 44 agencies in Greater Victoria to provide fresh, nutritious food to recipients. For more information, go to mustardseed.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Farming

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

Just Posted

‘I’ve fallen through the cracks’: Victoria woman calls herself new face of homelessness

Tonya Alton has had to move almost ten times since a ‘wrongful eviction’ in March

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Edward Milne students clean up Whiffen Spit

Volunteers find styrofoam, cigarette butts and a single shoe

Missing python found under vehicle in Victoria

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

View Royal teen inspired by pandemic creates thermal camera from scratch

14-year-old plans to make 10 touchless hand sanitizers for schools

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Most Read