A spacious factory building located at 808 Viewfield Rd. in Esquimalt got a major makeover that was revealed Saturday.
Seventy-eight companies, as well as 220 volunteers from HeroWork, spent over three weeks building an impressive industrial kitchen that will be the The Mustard Seed’s first food processing kitchen.
“HeroWork is a charity that renovates other charities,” said Paul Latour, Founder of HeroWork. “We do this in a way by mobilizing the entire community to come together, and mobilize around a building so it can be renewed in a very short period of time.”
The kitchen is stocked with new stainless steel counters, stoves, ovens, vents, sinks, fridges, and ice machines to help staff and volunteers at The Mustard Seed use every bit of food donated, or recovered from grocery stores as a part of their “food rescue program.”
“We still generate a bit of waste, so about eight per cent of the food that comes in still goes into the waste stream,” said Derek Pace, interim executive director of The Mustard Seed. “We wanted to get a kitchen together so we could reduce that waste, and we could do that by making soups, stocks and sauces with those items that maybe we wouldn’t send out to our other [food donation] agencies.”
This kind of processing will done by Mustard Seed staff and volunteers, but the kitchen will also be open to interested members of the community.
“It’s going to be open to other food-share network agencies that would like to do food literacy or canning workshops,” Pace said.
Pace noted that with the new kitchen available, a lot more food will be saved and head towards those in need.
“With this kitchen, we estimate we can save over 40,000 lbs of food in a year,” he said.