The Mustard Seed Street Church cut the ribbon on its new Mustard Seed Market Saturday, transforming their pre-packaged hamper food bank into a client-choice model operating similar to a grocery store.
The market gives people accessing the food bank the power to select their own food based on their dietary, cultural, and religious needs, providing dignity and a sense of control in their lives.
Some 5,000 people are served each month by the hamper program, and the change to the market style is expected to lessen stigma, reduce food waste, and be more environmentally friendly.
“We all know that Victoria is an expensive place to live, and food prices continue to rise. Some people have to make a choice between paying rent and the hydro bill, and purchasing food for the family. This really helps them to bridge that gap,” said Paul Latour, executive director of HeroWork.
HeroWork is a charity that renovates other charities by partnering with many businesses and individuals, and putting on community events called Radical Renovations.
The Mustard Seed executives met with Paul Latour of HeroWork last year to discuss their dream of opening this market.
The radical renovation of over $500,000 was a community event that took place over four weekends with hundreds of volunteers.
The Mustard Seed paid about 30 per cent of the projected costs and HeroWork fundraised the difference, with the help of local trades, contractors and Greater Victoria businesses.
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