Our vision is to increase community access to delicious, healthy food in the Cowichan Region on Vancouver Island, Canada.
In 2018, Cowichan Green Community established the reFRESH Cowichan Food Recovery Program.
Every week, we collect thousands of pounds of excess fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat and bakery products from local grocery stores. In addition, local farms donate freshly harvested vegetables regularly. The program distributes the donated produce to regional partners including food banks, daycares, soup kitchens, shelters, community programs, and schools.
By June 2021, reFRESH Cowichan had recovered and distributed over 450,000 pounds of fresh produce throughout the Cowichan Region.
A small portion of the donated produce
from select stores is made available for purchase at reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace at a significantly reduced cost.
About 10% of the recovered food is directed into the reFRESH Cowichan Kitchen where we prepare hot meals for the community as well as frozen meals for reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace as part of the Comfort Food Series.
This process helps to prevent food waste and ensures surplus food goes to people first, before being used as feed for livestock or compost.
reFRESH Cowichan Food Recovery Program Manager
reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace Manager
reFRESH Cowichan Kitchen Manager