The Living Edge, a local non-profit that hosts free food markets, is desperate for a new van. (Facebook/ The Living Edge)

Victoria charity desperate for new van to deliver free groceries

The Living Edge Community runs free farmers’ style markets six days per week

A local non-profit offering free food is in dire need of a new van.

Six days a week, the Living Edge Community picks up produce donations from local grocery stores and offers them for free at farmers’ style markets across Greater Victoria.

“You choose what you like. You don’t have to give your name, don’t have to prove what you earn, you don’t even have to talk to anybody,” said Neil van Heerden, executive director. “Though, of course, if you want to talk, it’s a community and everyone is friendly.”

Around 90 per cent of all the donated food is fresh produce, and every evening sites can see upwards of 100 people picking up groceries.

“You can’t imagine how much food we go through,” van Heerden said. “If each person takes two grocery bags, and you times that by 100, that’s quite a lot.”

He estimates around 5,000 families use the markets each month.

ALSO READ: Lions Food Bank asking for food donations

The logistics of transporting the food works thanks to two vans, a smaller one donated by Thrifty Foods, and a larger van that Living Edge purchased in 2013 for $3,500.

“If a donor phones us up and says they have three skids of say, orange juice, we need to be able to get there fast,” van Heerden said. “Even then, we can only fit one skid at a time.”

The van has been a sturdy staple of Living Edge, but it’s on its last days.

“The transmission is gone, so it keeps slipping out, the seats are starting to break so it’s not safe… The steering isn’t great either and we need all the brakes and tires replaced,” said van Heerden. “Plus, it’s just not very nice to look at.”

ALSO READ: Sooke Food Bank looking for help

Basic repairs would be at least $4,500, a sum not worth investing into a van with over 214,000 km on it.

van Heerden estimates that they’ve got another month or two of use, and will then need to get creative with their smaller van.

The community is now fundraising for a new van, with a goal of hitting $15,000.

“If we raise enough, we could even get one with air conditioning, so at least when we’re driving around the produce could stay kind of cool,” van Heerden said.

For more information on where the Living Edge Communities happen every week, or to make a donation to the group, you can visit livingedge.ngo.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

fundraiserHomeless

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

 

Volunteers and staff at The Living Edge Community unload some produce for a local food markets. Their main van is on its last legs (File contributed/ Deborah Price)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read