Colin Tessier (Threshold Housing), Matthew Kemshaw (Lifestyles Food Project), Derek Pace (Mustard Seed), Daisy Orser (Root Cellar), Tammy Averill (Country Grocer), Adrienne Murdoch (Country Grocer), Ralf Mundel (Thrifty Foods) and Sandra Richardson (Victoria Foundation) are members of the Food Rescue Project. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Grocers come together to launch Victoria Foundation’s Island Food Caring campaign

Campaign supports the Food Rescue Project

A set of five local grocery stores have put the usual rigours of competition aside to come together to further support the Food Rescue Project.

The Victoria Foundation is behind the new campaign, Island Food Caring, and met with all five grocery store operators at Threshold Housing’s Oak Bay house on Granite Street to announce the new initiative.

Victoria Foundation will match every dollar up to $25,000 throughout the campaign, which runs June 1 to 23.

Fairway Markets vice president Robert Jay said that 14 per cent of the region’s population are food insecure, meaning their meals are not planned ahead of time, and that money for groceries is scarce. Fairway Market is one of the participating grocery stores with Country Grocer, Red Barn Market, The Root Cellar and Thrifty Foods supporting the campaign.

READ MORE: New Mustard Seed kitchen built by volunteers

“That’s roughly 50,000 people who are food insecure,” Jay said. “It’s families, children, youth, seniors, and our neighbours who don’t always know when their next meal is coming.”

It means not being able to live full and healthy lives, he added. It also has a negative affect on learning outcomes for youth.

“This is unacceptable,” Jay said. “In an affluent region such as Greater Victoria, no one should go hungry.”

READ ALSO: Game changing program to combat food waste to expand across B.C.

Five years ago the Mustard Seed, Our Place, Cool Aid, Threshold Housing and other agencies came together to create a food sharing plan. With leadership from the Victoria Foundation, that partnership turned into the Food Rescue Project which launched about two years ago and has been growing ever since.

“We had some food sharing before but now it was on a smaller scale and it wasn’t as consistent,” said Derek Pace, executive director of Mustard Seed. “The Food Rescue Project delivers 4,000 pounds a day, to 46 agencies in the network.”

Last year a purpose-built kitchen and warehouse was created for the Food Rescue Project in Esquimalt. It’s become a model that volunteers in other municipalities are looking to adopt, said Sandra Richardson, CEO of Victoria Foundation.

The warehouse and kitchen will be the focus of a tour for visitors to the Community Foundations Conference, June 6 to 8, Richardson said.

“Victoria Foundation got its start as a soup kitchen, 83 years ago, in the Sunshine Inn on Pandora Avenue,” Richardson said. “Food has been a big part of its work since the beginning. A woman donated $20 to start the Victoria Foundation, and in those days, that was a lot of money.”

“Victoria Foundation has been a catalyst for this all to work,” said Colin Tessier, executive director of Threshold Housing. The youth housing charity has four houses, one of them the house beside Oak Bay United Church. “Victoria Foundation has had the leadership and funding to support the Food Rescue Project’s growth.”

To donate visit Islandfoodcaring.ca.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Daisy Orser. She is a co-owner of the Root Cellar. We apologize for the error.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Phelps’s life has changed since he was able to get a safe pharmaceutical alternative to fentanyl after his pain medication was cut off a couple of years ago. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Unhoused community in Greater Victoria struggles to access safe supply

Safer Victoria Project working to connect people sheltering outside with pharmaceutical alternatives

John Roney has been working on Beneath the Emerald Sea for about a year now and expects it to be released in fall of 2021. (Provided by John Roney)
Victoria man films underwater documentary about sea life around Vancouver Island

John Roney expects Under the Emerald Sea to be released in 2021

Cole Byers and Jasmine Grant are taking a leap of faith and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Langford residents making “all-in move” opening restaurant amid COVID-19 pandemic

Although The Rack Westcoast Bistro isn’t officially open yet, it’s serving anyone who wanders in

The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
 The Langford Fire Rescue team was busy Saturday afternoon handing out heaps of candy during its first ever Halloween drive-thru. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Langford Fire Rescue’s Halloween drive-thru delights children

Full-sized chocolate bars may make Langford Fire Rescue the favourite house on the block

Berwick House Retirement Community hosted its annual Great Pumpkin Walk with the Grade 5 students from Hillcrest Elementary in a pandemic-friendly fashion. (Photo courtesy Melissa Braun)
PHOTOS: Saanich retirement home welcomes students for pandemic-friendly Great Pumpkin walk

Annual Berwick House Halloween event brings joy to seniors, youngsters

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for information about William Mack, last seen in Duncan on Oct. 28. (File photo)
Police searching for missing man last seen near Duncan

William Mack, 72, was seen on Gibbins Road on Oct. 28

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Most Read