Five grocery store operators and the Victoria Foundation announced the launch of Island Food Caring, a new campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Food Rescue Project, an initiative of The Food Share Network. A collaboration of funders, donors, grocery retailers and community organizations committed to a food secure region, the Food Rescue Project recovers and redistributes healthy, fresh food to food insecure communities in the region.
The five participating grocery stores include Country Grocer, Fairway Market, Red Barn Market, The Root Cellar and Thrifty Foods. “The tagline for the campaign is ‘Let’s take hunger off the table’” said Country Grocer Director Craig Cavin. “We know that access to healthy, affordable food is a significant concern for the 50,000 residents of the region who are food insecure and we’re proud and humbled to be one of the founding partners of Island Food Caring to engage our customers in taking hunger off the table for the residents of our region.”
“Our customers have always been community-minded, and I’m confident they’ll get behind this important campaign and help us create a food secure region,” added Thrifty Foods Vice-President of Operations Ralf Mundel. “Our stores, along with our partners, currently recover 2,000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products per day, six days a week. But we know that a program like this requires a lot more than just food to make it work. It takes equipment, transportation, staffing and more, and that’s what the funds raised through this campaign will go towards.”
The Island Food Caring campaign will run in participating grocery stores throughout the capital region from June 1 – 23. People can donate at the till or via the program’s website. In-store promotions will be reinforced by additional marketing by the partners including social media and a campaign website. Funds raised will go to the Victoria Foundation to be distributed to Food Share Network partner organizations participating in the Food Rescue Project. Victoria Foundation will be matching the amount raised up to $25,000.
“Our commitment to food security goes back more than 83 years to our organization’s roots in a soup kitchen on Pandora Avenue,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “But for the Food Rescue Project to be successful, it requires broad community involvement and the Victoria Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with local grocery stores for this campaign. This is a great opportunity for everyone to be part of ending hunger in our community.”
“Food insecurity is not just isolated among a small group of people,” noted Matthew Kemshaw, Executive Director of LifeCycles Project Society and Chair of the Food Share Network. “This issue touches children, youth, seniors, single parents… everyone. More than 50 agencies are distributing this food throughout the region, so the people that you are helping are your neighbours. We believe that by working together we can ensure everyone has dignified access to healthy, delicious food.”
More information on Island Food Caring can be found at https://islandfoodcaring.ca