The Kimberley Food Recovery Program passed a major milestone this week, having recovered over 100,000 pounds of food ‘deemed fit to eat but unfit for sale’ from local grocery stores and restaurant suppliers. This has been collected since November 2018, says Shannon Grey Duncan, Food Recovery Coordinator.
“Like the rest of the world, the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot has been busy adapting to changing needs & operations,” Duncan said. “Responding to the needs triggered by the pandemic 50 per cent of the food total has been recovered since April of this year.
“After sorting by our team of dedicated volunteers, over 79,000 lbs was redirected for eating or transformed into meals. 17,000 lbs was composted or fed to animals by local farmers. Only 750 lbs went into the landfill as garbage.
“Since April, our team of three revolving cooks have produced over 2250 family or small-sized meals, 1000 plus muffins and 130 pounds of accompanying items such as croutons & granola.”
Professional cooks, all local small business owners, are contracted to transform recovered food into healthy, delicious meals, which are frozen and redistributed to partner agencies.
Aligned with Healthy Kimberley’s mission to ‘make the healthy choice the easy choice’, meals are whole-food based and as nutritious as they are delicious.
The Frozen Meals program was kickstarted thanks to emergency support funding from Columbia Basin Trust & Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Access Fund.
It takes a community to make things happen, Duncan says.
“The City of Kimberley generously provides the use of the Centennial Hall commercial kitchen. The Food Recovery Depot is located on the backside of the Kimberley Health Centre, with many thanks to the support of the Kimberley Health Centre Society.
“Providing a meal offers something more than food for people, there’s a sense of being cared for that increases mental well-being while addressing food security. Many people are feeling the stress of these times, if we can alleviate any bit of that, we will.”
Meal production is currently doubled to meet higher needs surrounding the winter holidays. This is possible in thanks to funding from the Government of Canada Emergency
Community Support Fund through the Kimberley & District Foundation, along with support from local community organizations, including the Elks & Connect Church.
“To clear the fridges of excess food at the end of each week our doors open for our popular Open to Public every Friday, 11-12:30. Everyone is welcome.”
There is a special holiday schedule: Tuesdays Dec 22 & 29 & Wednesdays Dec 23 & 30, 12-1 pm. Since schools and
many agencies close these two weeks, most of the food recovered is available to the public during that time.
If you would like more information, contact Shannon at (250)427-7981 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular updates can be found on their Facebook group: Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot or on Instagram: foodrecoverydepot.
Donations received from the community at this time help increase production of frozen meals for a longer duration. If you have the ability & inspiration please donate online to this or any of the other Healthy Kimberley projects, including Active Living & the Swan
Ave Playground development, search ‘Kimberley Wellness Foundation’ at CanadaHelps.org. Cheques (made to: Kimberley Wellness Foundation) or cash always gratefully accepted.