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.
- 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 and community partners.
- 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.
- We initiated a pilot project in July, 2018 with one large grocery retailer in the Cowichan region. We began accepting their surplus, potentially wasted, produce items, sort them, and then distributed them to our community partners.
- 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 –
reFRESHcowichan.ca was made possible thanks to the generous support of