Residents of Surrey and White Rock will soon have greater access to more nutritious food through grants to local food security projects.
Sources Community Resources and the Public Health Association of British Columbia (PHABC) will each receive $58,000 in provincial funding, part of $800,000 being distributed across British Columbia through the Victoria Foundation’s Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund.
“Over the past few years, we’ve become increasingly aware of the need to improve food supply and food security,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re investing in local food security projects so local organizations can better respond to the community’s needs.”
The funding for Sources Community Resources will support residents of Surrey and White Rock and their regional food hub by building training and capacity in warehouse management skills.
“I’m pleased that this funding means people in the local community and across the province will benefit from food security education and training opportunities,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour and MLA for Surrey-Newton. “Empowering people with the knowledge and tools they need to increase access to healthy food is key to helping families and children.”
This new funding builds on the $3 million the Province provided to the Victoria Foundation in March 2019, which helped establish the Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund and supported food-security-related projects throughout B.C.
“These funds will enhance the economic viability and equitable access to good healthy food in Surrey and White Rock,” said Denise Darrell, executive director of community services, Sources Community Resources Centre. “The funding also provides employment and training for eight people who will develop the skills to ladder into other employment opportunities in the food sector.”
Funding going to PHABC will support training and capacity building among key food security stakeholders throughout B.C, helping them adopt a systems-wide approach that promotes collaboration.
“Our organization has seen the impact COVID-19 and climate emergencies have had on communities,” said Shannon Turner, executive director, PHABC. “This funding will allow us to strengthen community growing opportunities by building networks for change and training opportunities that centre on those administering important food security programming.”
Since the Province’s poverty-reduction strategy, TogetherBC, was released in 2019, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction has provided nearly $26 million for planning and implementing poverty reduction and food security initiatives in communities throughout B.C., including Indigenous communities.
“The work these organizations are doing to increase food security is inspiring,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation. “This funding will provide the opportunity to expand and deepen the work they are already doing, while also improving sustainability.”
The Victoria Foundation’s Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund supports the Province’s work on food security by improving food access, food literacy and local food production and by continuing to advance meaningful reconciliation by funding Indigenous-led initiatives.
TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty reduction strategy: https://gov.bc.ca/togetherbc