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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read