Project Description

FOOD RESCUE PROJECT

Project Mission

The Food Rescue Project will address the ever-growing issues of food insecurity and hunger in the Capital Region by direction high-quality, fresh food donated by Thrifty Food Stores to low income people and families.

FOOD RESCUE PROJECT LAUNCH

The Food Share Network is composed of over 40 non-profit agencies and stakeholders working together to coordinate large-scale projects that no one partner would be able to individually implement.

Members come from a wide range of social service sectors and represent many under-served people in our community.  These members include housing providers, First Nations, advocates for vulnerable youth and seniors, mental health agencies and religious organizations.  Members provide food access through emergency meal programs, hamper programs and food bank services.

In 2014 the Victoria Foundation published their Vital Signs report indicating that approximately 14% of all people in the Capital Region experience some degree of food insecurity.  This means that there is an estimated 50,000 people who do not have consistent access to quality food of their choice.   Food Share Network members serve approximately 20,000 food insecure people through meal programs, hamper programs and food bank services.  This means that there is an estimated 30,000 “hidden hungry” people in our neighbourhoods who are NOT currently accessing emergency food programs.  The Food Share Network is reaching out beyond emergency food services and into communities where the under-served hidden hungry live.  We are developing relationships and programs with First Nations, vulnerable seniors & people with disability and school districts.

We are excited to be working towards a food secure region together!

Food Rescue Project Media Release – March, 16 2017

Guiding Principles of the Food Rescue Project

These state values are in line with the relevant guiding principles of the Food Share Network as stated below:

  • Enhanced partnership, collaboration and cooperation among food serving organizations
  • Improving efficiency and safety for people accessing non-profit food services, along with strengthened community links and access to resources that support self-sufficiency
  • Increased involvement of people served in creating food security and food literacy
  • Improved quality and suitability of food services, with increased provision of fresh, local, organic and culturally appropriate food
  • Improved coordination of food distribution, with greater efficiency for donors and service providers
  • Improved environmental performance of non-profit food operations
  • Respectful of existing donor and recipient relationships

The Food Rescue Project is an emerging effort to address food insecurity and hunger in the Capital Region. In 2014, the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs® report revealed that approximately 14% of Greater Victoria’s population experiences some degree of food insecurity. This project will increase the availability of quality food by redirecting unsold fresh food to low income people and families.

The Food Rescue Project focuses on addressing food insecurity in the Capital Region by sourcing fresh, nutritious foods that are edible but no longer saleable from food retailers. This food will be collected from supermarkets, gleaned and sorted, and then distributed via local non-profit agencies to people facing food insecurity. Providing greater access to nutritious food will not only improve health outcomes of clients but will also allow agencies to reduce spending on food budgets for emergency food programs. Agencies can then redirect funds to programs that address roots causes of food insecurity, such as poverty or lack of affordable housing. The project also builds on the lessons learned from existing food recovery pilots in the region.

FOOD RESCUE PROJECT PARTNERS

None of this work could have taken place without the vision and support of our generous funders: the Victoria Foundation, Thrifty Foods and the Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria.  In 2015 the Rotary Clubs of Victoria banded together as “Rotarians for Food Rescue” and all of the proceeds from their car raffle were donated to this project.  Thrifty Foods is donating their high quality fruit, vegetables and expertise to the food rescue project and the Victoria Foundation is continuing to support this project by connecting visionary donors with innovative, long-term solutions.

It is expected that the project scope will extend beyond people with emergency food needs to reach new markets.  Food collected will be re-directed to meet the needs of low-income, food insecure people who do not frequent food banks or other non-profit food access point.  To develop these new markets, the increase in the supply of fresh food could support innovative, social enterprise models.

Grants for the Food Rescue Project have been approved for three applications:

    • The Mustard Seed Street Church – a major grant for a regional hub
    • Fernwood NRG in partnership with the Coalition of Neighborhood Houses  – a grant for the distribution of rescued food
    • Salt Spring Island Community Services – a pilot food rescue program

All grantees will work in collaboration with the Food Share Network and provide regular updates to the Steering Committee.