Once again, Kamloops is leading the way for food security in B.C.!
This time around, it is Kamloops FoodShare, a non-profit food recovery and food reclamation project that is making leaps and bounds towards feeding the hungry in our city.
Modeled after a successful food recovery business in Vancouver and Toronto, the wheels at Kamloops FoodShare started turning about a year ago, thanks to funding from HRSDC (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada).
More recently, a successful partnership with the Kamloops Food Bank & Action Center, Kamloops Food Policy Council, Salvation Army and New Life Mission has enabled this project to really take off.
So, what does a food recovery program like FoodShare do?
In a nutshell, FoodShare collects mainly perishable food items from local donors (grocers, caterers and care facilities) that would otherwise go to waste and then redistributes the food among social service agencies in need.
These agencies include the Salvation Army, the New Life Mission, the Kamloops Food Bank and the United Church Pit Stop Program.
Each of these services provides daily meals or food to young children and families in need, seniors living on a fixed income, homeless people and hundreds of others who have fallen on hard times.
Kamloops FoodShare mainly handles fresh fruits, vegetables and bread products.
However, a newly signed agreement with the Save-On-Foods Group to reclaim pre-packaged meat, fish and poultry products and fresh dairy products for redistribution will have a profound impact on the ability for the FoodShare program to support the needs of our community.
A cornerstone to this food recovery program was the recent donation of a refrigerated van, which will enable safe, efficient transport of fresh food items.
Kamloops FoodShare is recovering and distributing approximately 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of food each month, and those numbers are expected to triple in the next year.
In the spirit of giving, Kamloops FoodShare and the Kamloops Food Bank, in conjunction with Save-On Foods, organized an all-day event yesterday called "Stuff-A-Bus".
The goal of this fun-filled event was to stuff a city bus with approximately 10,000 lbs (4,500 kilograms) of food for those who need it most.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this event.
Thanks to Gord Johnson, manager of Save-On-Foods, and Dave Somerville, project co-ordinator of Kamloops FoodShare for organizing the Stuff-A-Bus campaign.
For more information about, or to get involved with, the Kamloops FoodShare program, contact the Kamloops Food Bank & Action Center at 376-2252 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also a Big thank you to Thistle Farm, Dieter Dudy and Debbie Kellogg for the wonderful Harvest Fest they hosted last weekend.
The food was incredible and the array of fresh veggies was so impressive. Believe me, it was easy to get your recommended servings of five to 10 servings!
From purple potatoes, broccoli and beets to carrots and mushrooms - loved it all.
Laura Kalina is a community nutritionist with Interior Health and contributes
to this article weekly.