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)

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 Victoria-area 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 late last month 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

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

Most Read