The reFRESH Cowichan Kitchen team works closely with CGC’s Food Recovery Program team who regularly pick up the surplus produce from grocery stores in the Cowichan Region.
When the donated products arrive at CGC,
staff sort it and select the fruit and vegetables that are not quite fresh enough to redistribute to use in the kitchen. Another small portion of the recovered produce from select stores goes into the reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace for sale, while about 80% is delivered to service providers who help support vulnerable community members.
This efficient and streamlined daily process helps to reduce food waste, and ensures surplus food goes to people first before being used as feed for livestock or compost. Based on what food is received each day, the kitchen team sort, cook, preserve, and process a variety of nutritious meals, often creatively coming up with new recipes on the spot.
The reFRESH Cowichan Kitchen team is also responsible for catering
the Meals on Wheels Program and three nights a week, they make nutritious meals for the three temporary housing sites set up since Covid in Duncan.
Once those meals are completed, their focus turns to creating meals for reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace. The Comfort Food Series offer affordable, yet delicious frozen meals of great quality that can easily be heated up at home. The Turkey Dinner and Vegetarian Lasagna have been just as popular as the Island Curry and Cauliflower Soup. The kitchen team, managed by Tony Monk, is constantly working on creating and packaging entrees, soups, and even delectable desserts.