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

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

Just Posted

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Sidney cadet takes home gold at South Island Zone biathlon

‘Rising star’ sets her sights on provincials

Victoria council keeps its catered lunches at more than $10,000 per year

Two councillors tried to eliminate the expense, with widespread rejection

High-rise hotel proposed for downtown Victoria location

A 15-storey hotel could be coming to the Fort and Blanshard streets area

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Most Read