With Christmas rapidly approaching, many families in Kimberley may begin to feel the added holiday stress, compounded by rising food costs and the seasonal unavailability of some food aid agencies. Fortunately the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot is not only open, but are ramping up their efforts for the holiday season.
In fact, they usually receive a high volume of food around this time of year, which is then sorted by their team of volunteers, who put in an average of 175 hours per month. The general public are then able to make use of the excess perishable food after local agencies take what they need for their vulnerable clients.
The Depot’s regular hours are Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., but they ramp them up for the holidays and are opening Tuesdays Dec. 21 and 28 and Thursdays Dec. 23 and 30 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
They have diverted over 200,000 pounds of food from the landfill in just three years, with 170,000 pounds deemed edible and distributed through the community. 28,000 pounds went to farms for compost and animal feed and the remaining 1200 remained garbage.
”The food we recover is considered ‘fit to eat but not fit for sale,’” they said in a press release.
“What does that mean? Often it is food that is close to the best before date. Sometimes, produce that is imperfect or better for cooking than for eating fresh. But often it is perfectly fresh food that just needs to be taken off the shelves due to re-stocking needs. At the Food Recovery Depot, we frequently share tips and tricks to help prolong the life of various food items, as well as recipes to inspire.”
The Food Recovery Depot’s goal is to increase the impact of their partner agencies.
“Given our unique perspective at the hub of our local wheel of food services, we adapt our services as we identify needs,” they said. “Our frozen meal program is a great example and has been going strong since April 2020. Between contracted professional cooks and group volunteer cooking sessions, over 17,000 servings have been produced. The style, size and quantity of production is adapted to meet current needs, as identified by our partner agencies, which distribute the prepared meals.”
As their efforts increase, so do their operational costs. If you are able to make a contribution to help their invaluable work in the community, online donations can be made by searching Health Kimberley Society at www.canadahelps.org
Cheques can also be made out to Kimberley Wellness Foundation and delivered to their facility, located at 260 4 Ave, in the basement of the Kimberley Health Centre.
Donations may also be made by adding to your purchases from Little Big Studio and Gallery in downtown Kimberley.