People in the Interior, Lower Mainland, central and north Vancouver Island will have better access to an increased supply of affordable local food with $7.5 million in funding to United Way British Columbia for more local food hubs.
“Everyone in B.C. needs access to food that’s healthy and affordable. But global inflation, climate disasters, and the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on supply chains have meant rapidly rising prices at grocery stores,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why our government is working with the United Way to expand their successful regional food hubs to help get nutritious food to more people and communities who need it most.”
The Province is investing in the expansion of United Way regional community food hubs, a network of non-profit partners, residents, businesses, all levels of government and the agricultural sector, working collaboratively to give people access to food. Programming includes food hampers and meal distribution, community gardens, food literacy and skill building, as well as funding to hire more people and improve infrastructure.
The funding will also help the implementation of a “food link”. This is an app that connects the food needs of non-profit partners and their clients to local, regional and small-scale food organizations and suppliers, while mobilizing volunteers to transport food.
“Global inflation has hit people hard, and the rising cost of food is especially challenging for people who are struggling on a low income,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re working with United Way B.C. to strengthen the infrastructure of community food programs, and create more food hubs to help communities, families and people put good food on the table.”
Food insecurity has increased because of inflation, supply-chain issues, and climate emergencies that interrupt food supply and production. This investment recognizes the diverse challenges of food producers, processors, suppliers, retailers and consumers, strengthening food security for everyone.
Kim Winchell, provincial director, community impact and investment, United Way British Columbia –
“As the cost of living continues to rise across the province, food insecurity is something more and more individuals and families in British Columbia experience in their daily lives. This funding will go to bolster existing food security programs and initiatives that have been addressing the issue directly with community-led solutions. We are grateful to continue our partnership with the Government of B.C. in collaborating to provide British Columbians in need with more access to nourishing, healthy and culturally appropriate food.”
Michele Babchuk, MLA, North Island –
“Having access to nutritious food for those in need in the Campbell River area is a priority for this government. The funding given to the United Way will go a long way toward making life better for people in the northern Vancouver Island and central coast regions of British Columbia.”
Madison Stewart, co-ordinator, Strathcona Community Food Hub –
“The Strathcona Community Food Hub is forging new pathways for collaboration on a regional scale. United Way makes this work possible by hosting reliable yearly funding for co-ordination and offering education on best practices through their monthly ‘community of practice’. Since our first $80,000 of United Way funding in 2021, the Strathcona hub has been able to secure an additional $650,000 to support programming and infrastructure for our community partners.”
Ian Baikie, lead volunteer at Hama?elas Community Kitchen, Strathcona Community Food Hub –
“United Way Regional Food Hub funding has supported the Hama?elas Community Kitchen by increasing capacity at the systems level through collaboration and linking resources. Thanks to co-ordinated efforts, and dedicated volunteers, the kitchen feeds over 26,000 meals per year.”
For more information on TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty reduction strategy, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy