People in Doig River First Nation will soon have better access to more nutritious food sources through a new grant for local food-security projects.
Doig River First Nation is receiving $112,475 through Victoria Foundation’s Food Security - Provincial Initiatives fund. The funding will help create a community garden, community distribution centre and kitchen facility next to the community band office. The project is part of the Nation’s goal to increase members’ access to locally grown food and deliver programming that encourages learning, sharing of traditional and cultural knowledge and hands-on participation in food growing.
“Thanks to the grant, Doig River First Nation will be able to build inclusive gardening infrastructure and partnerships that will promote local food production and act as a first step towards becoming a more food secure community,” said Chief Trevor Makadahay, Doig River First Nation. “Making a space where Elders and children can gather together will enhance the health and well-being of the community. Gardening spaces will provide the community with fresh produce, which will reduce the dependency on having to travel long distances to buy groceries.”
The Province provided $3 million to the Victoria Foundation in March 2019. Of that, $1.9 million went to the Mustard Seed Food Bank to help buy its food distribution centre for southern Vancouver Island. The remaining $1.1 million helped establish the Food Security - Provincial Initiatives Fund. Six projects have received the grants available through this fund — Doig River First Nation being the sixth — for a total of $778,170.
“I want to thank the Doig River First Nation for initiating this important project. Food security is a necessary part of reducing poverty and supporting strong communities,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Projects like this and the other food-security projects announced late last year are working to bring people up and out of poverty in rural and remote areas of B.C.”
TogetherBC, the province’s first poverty reduction strategy, was released in March 2019 as a cross-government plan to reduce poverty. The Victoria Foundation grant supports the Province’s work by helping organizations develop local food security programs that ensure reliable access to nutritious and affordable food for people. Food security is part of increasing inclusion, making life more affordable and supporting better opportunities and reconciliation in communities in B.C.
“Food security starts at the ground level, through community-based knowledge and local food systems and economies,” said Sandra Richardson, chief executive officer, Victoria Foundation. “We are delighted to see these funds going to local organizations that understand their community’s needs and contribute to achieving food security through practical, ground-level solutions.”
Addressing poverty is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Food Security - Provincial Initiatives Fund recipients:
- Doig River First Nation - $112,780
- Carrier Sekani Family Services - $114,257
- Nuxalk Nation - $114,433
- Sources Community Resources Society - $191,976
- Southern Stl'atl'imx Charitable Society - $216,859
- First Nations Emergency Services Society - $28,170
- More than 500,000 British Columbians experience some level of household food insecurity.
TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy: https://gov.bc.ca/togetherbc
The Victoria Foundation’s food security initiatives: https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/food-rescue-project/