The B.C. government announced Tuesday a $3 million grant to the Victoria Foundation to help improve food security for those living in poverty. (Keri Coles/News staff)

The B.C. government announced Tuesday a $3 million grant to the Victoria Foundation to help improve food security for those living in poverty. (Keri Coles/News staff)

$3M grant to bolster food security for Victorians living in poverty

Grant to help purchase food distribution centre, support food security projects for low-income

The health of nearly 50,000 people in the CRD and around half a million people province-wide is regularly affected by not having reliable access to quality, healthy, culturally appropriate and affordable food. The B.C. government is looking to turn the tides on those figures, announcing Tuesday a $3 million grant to the Victoria Foundation to help improve food security for those living in poverty.

“Connecting more people to healthy food will make a huge difference in the lives of so many families,” said Shane Simpson, minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

RELATED: B.C. introduces poverty reduction plan to cut child poverty by 50 per cent

Up to $2 million is earmarked to help purchase the Mustard Seed’s Food Security Distribution Centre. The 13,500 sq. foot warehouse is used to store non-perishable food, and to sort, clean, and “rescue” perishable food from grocers and large retailers in the community before redistributing the food across south Vancouver Island. The building has been leased since 2017, and the purchase will provide long-term stability for the program.

The Mustard Seed recovers and redistributes about 1,815 kilograms of fresh food daily from local grocery stores, helping to feed 35,000 food insecure people in the capital region annually.

Derek Pace, executive director of Mustard Seed Street Church, said the purchase of the Distribution Centre not only helps ensure that the Food Rescue Project remains sustainable, but also allows the centre to “enable the community’s larger vision for food security, growing programs in food literacy, employment, environmental sustainability and the local food systems.”

RELATED: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

The remainder of the funds will be used to offer grants, through the new Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund, to organizations in B.C. for food security projects that can help low-income individuals and families.

“Food security is central to the well-being of people, which makes it a priority for our region and the Province,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation. “The new Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund will help us build and support other programs like the Food Rescue Project, because better food creates healthier individuals, families and communities.”

RELATED: Herowork to transform Victoria’s Mustard Seed locations, improve food services

Simpson said B.C.’s poverty rate is the highest in Canada with an estimated 678,000 people living in poverty, including 118,000 children.

The provincial government has introduced a poverty reduction plan aimed at reducing the provincial poverty rate by 25 per cent and cutting the child poverty rate by 50 per cent over the next five years.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Anvy Technologies CEO Victor Nicolov displays his company’s innovative garbage disposal device, the Sepura. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Times Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

Sweetpal Chauhan, operator of several Shell Gas stations in Greater Victoria, donated 100 jackets and 100 sleeping bags to Our Place on Friday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria businessman donates 100 jackets, 100 sleeping bags to Our Place

Warm jackets, sleeping bags can mean the ‘difference between life and death’

Merchants along Fort Street are hosting the Winter Wander holiday shopping event Dec. 5. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Wander along Fort Street for a total holiday shopping experience

Merchants featuring discounts, special offerings; community event set for Dec. 5

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read