CGC’s FOOD RECOVERY PROJECT
– JANUARY TO OCTOBER 2018 –
The Cowichan Green Community (CGC) originally received funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to initiate a food recovery project.
With the assistance of 4 participants, this project worked to establish a food recovery system to reclaim unwanted and destined for the landfill food and into a variety of other more sustainable streams including re-distribution, processing, compost, and animal feed.
Through the development of a strong community network of food producers, social media and innovation, this project aims to broadcast the availability and location of edible food so that it may be shared with those in need within the local community.
For more information, or if you are interested in helping provide equipment, resources or your time, please contact us by clicking HERE.
The Cowichan Food Recovery Project has made great progress!
- The team had the chance to visit several examples of food recovery projects on Vancouver Island and on the lower-mainland. So much was learned and many collaborative partnerships were formed as a result with the amazing folks at The Mustard Seed in Victoria, Parksville Food Bank, Loaves & Fishes in Nanaimo, and The Harvest Project in North Van.
- While on the mainland the team also had the chance to tour the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, who prides itself in being a zero-waste facility. Here the team had a chance to learn more about how the food service industry can work towards eliminating food waste.
- The Cowichan Valley Regional District Grants in Aid generously donated $40,000 towards the purchase of a vehicle used to transport product to and from the distribution centre.
- Fisher Road Recycling offered us a tour of their waste management and recycling facility. It was a real eye-opener to see the amount of perfect produce being thrown away by grocery retailers. Fisher Road liked our project so much that they signed an agreement with us to accept any organic waste that we cannot divert to other streams.
- The project has been busy in CGCs commercial kitchen creating and experimenting with a series of value added products as a stepping stone to creating a self-sustaining social enterprise.
- We connected with and continue to connect with all of the great people and organizations in the Cowichan region who offer food related programming. From food banks to soup kitchens, day-cares to juice companies, and everywhere in between we are working to partnering with everyone who could use some extra fresh fruits and veggies to stretch their food budgets.
- We have been spending time at the Cowichan Valley Basket Society visiting with staff and folks making use of the space and services provided. Through our conversations we are gaining more information on how we can be most impactful with our actions to help ensure everyone has increased access to healthy food options.
- We secured a new distribution centre at Hope Farms Healing Centre! This space is owned and managed by the Mustard Seed (who are operating an amazing food recovery project in Victoria, BC) and was previously utilized by them as a distribution centre for Food Banks of BC. It is already well set up for us with large walk-in coolers and freezers and plenty of space for shelving, storage, and sorting.
- Talks are currently underway with several large grocery retailers in the Cowichan region to begin accepting their surplus, potentially wasted, produce items. We initiated a pilot project in July. Our plan is to start small, work out the kinks, have everything running smoothly, and continue to add new partnering grocers.
- The lovely CGC supporter, Sandy McPherson, donated $10,000 for the Food Recovery Project. Thank you, Sandy!We challenge you residents of our beautiful valley and beyond, to match this generous donation with one of your own. Please help us – in-kind or cash – to divert to people, animals or compost – all the food currently going to the landfill. No one need go hungry.
- We raised over $1,500 at a recovered-cask night fundraiser at the Red Arrow Brewing Company. Red Arrow utilized some of the less than perfect fruit to brew up a flavourful and refreshing beer. The evening included entertainment, prize giveaways, and of course delicious snacks prepared with recovered food items.
Work with us!
Are you interested in volunteering with reFRESH Cowichan?
reFRESH Cowichan has several opportunities for folks who are interested in working and learning alongside us!
- Kitchen Helpers
- Drivers Helpers
- Food Sorters
If you’re interested in volunteering with reFRESH Cowichan click HERE to contact us. Please indicate that you are interested in volunteering and let us know what position you see yourself in.
– Cowichan’s Food Recovery Social-Enterprise Hub –