Food banks in the Okanagan will receive a nutritious boost that will benefit low-income families, thanks to new provincial funding announced today.
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, shared the news, while celebrating at the Lake Country Food Bank.
The overall funding announcement by Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, supports the Okanagan region’s 10 food banks by providing funding that will allow them to provide fresh, healthy food to those in need.
In total, $10 million is being provided to Food Banks BC to help the organization's 100 food banks throughout the province by ensuring they have the proper refrigeration capacity to receive these fresh products and provide them to families. Food Banks BC will invest $6.5 million for transporting nutritious food from farms, grocery stores and restaurants and $3.5 million for refrigeration at food bank facilities to store and distribute the food.
This funding builds on the Provincial Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit announced in 2016. The non-refundable income tax credit encourages farmers and farming corporations to donate surplus agricultural products that they produce – such as fresh vegetables, meat, grain and dairy – to local food banks and charities.
This announcement supports B.C.’s goal to reduce barriers for low-income families throughout the province and provide better access to fresh food families need to help maintain good health and nutrition, resulting in a better quality of life.
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“This announcement is a win-win for the Okanagan region and our communities. Local food banks, farmers and ranchers, and low-income families will all experience the immediate benefits this funding will provide as it helps to ensure that fresh, nutritious food that is considered surplus ends up in the hands of those that need it most.”
Laura Lansink, executive director, Food Banks BC –
“Lake Country Food Bank and others in the Okanagan are regularly offered donations of perishable food, and it is heart-breaking that they have to turn down these foods due to a lack of refrigeration storage. That changes today with this new funding and families will no longer have to rely on cans of non-perishable food alone, but instead will have access to a wide variety of fresh, nutritious foods that all families want and deserve.”
Murray Driediger, president and CEO, BCfresh –
“The Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit supports over 60 BCfresh farm families to donate nutritious, fresh, local produce to local registered charities. Today’s announcement will help ensure food banks have the right equipment to receive and distribute these important healthy foods.”
- It is estimated that every year across Canada, $31 billion worth of quality, fresh, usable food is needlessly wasted.
- There are 10 food banks throughout the Okanagan region located in the following communities: Armstrong, Cawston/Keremeos, Kelowna, Enderby, Kamloops, Lumby, Oliver, Peachland, Penticton and Vernon.
- Adding refrigeration capacity for food banks in B.C. means vulnerable families have more consistent access to a greater variety of nutritious foods.
For the overall announcement that includes food bank funding: https://news.gov.bc.ca/14365
Learn more about Food Banks BC: www.foodbanksbc.com
Learn more about the B.C. Famers’ Food Donation Tax Credit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/farmers-food-donation
Visit the Lake Country Food Bank Facebook webpage: https://www.facebook.com/LakeCountryFoodBank/
Learn about more government supports for British Columbians with low income: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/support-for-low-income-british-columbians