Fresh food challenge returns to Victoria

Backyard gardeners encouraged to grow an 'extra row' to help less fortunate in Greater Victoria

If one ton was good, two tons would be even better.

That’s the logic behind a new campaign to double the amount of fruits and vegetables donated to Our Place last year by Greater Victoria’s gardening and farming communities.

The Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre, as part of the national Grow a Row program, kicked off Food Raiser this week. They encourage everyone from backyard gardeners to commercial farmers to consider increasing the amount of food they grow for charity purposes.

“The Grow A Row program has grown in popularity since we started three years ago,” Nadine Collison, the centre’s executive director, said in a release. “A challenge like this gives us an opportunity to expand the reach of the program and maximize the benefits to organizations like Our Place.”

The more food donated to non-profit kitchens, the less they have to rely on fundraising to pay for food supplies.

Brian Cox, head of food services, said more donations would help the facility move toward its goal being able to offer full meal service on weekends. Currently, they only offer lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Food Raiser campaign runs now until Sept. 26. Donations can be dropped off at the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit vicgrowarow.org or call the centre at 250-386-9676.