Sometimes the right person just appears at the right time (and you just want to give them a big hug, but you can’t because we’re still in the Covid 19 pandemic). This just happened for a little garden project on the North Shore.

Public produce has had its ups and downs in Kamloops – for a few years, we had a good thing going, but as often happens in the world of not-for-profit, project champions move on, funding dries up, and support dwindles. There is a bit of edible landscaping at McDonald Park that, despite being largely abandoned for the last couple of years, provides foraging opportunities for park visitors (rhubarb, haskap berries, raspberries, strawberries, garlic chives, mint, lemon balm, oregano, sage, lavender).

One enterprising neighbour took it upon herself to show the edible garden beds some love – pulling weeds, pruning, adding soil amendments, and generally making the area look cared for. The results are amazing! Coincidentally, shortly after she contacted us asking if it was okay for her to do that (as if we would say no), we got a call from another neighbor looking for a home for some extra tomato and pepper plants. They went straight into the newly prepared edible garden beds! Now we hope there will soon be a few tomatoes and peppers to add to the foraging options!

Stefanie at McDonald Park

The Kamloops Food Policy Council is looking to add a Communications and Administration Lead to our team. If communication and organization are your strong points, and you are passionate about building a food system that is regenerative, sovereign and just, we’d love to hear from you!

The KFPC is a grassroots network at the forefront of many local food security initiatives from on-the-ground food action projects to municipal and regional policy development. We work within a collaborative leadership model which capitalizes on the expertise within our organization. You can read the complete job description here:

Communications & Administration Lead Job Posting.

In response to Kamloops Mayor Christian’s Task Force on Economic Recovery and Renewal, the Kamloops Food Policy Council has submitted recommendations carefully aimed at leading Kamloops and area towards a sustainable and just local food system that will also become an economic driver for the region. Recommendations include actions that support emergency food providers and short term relief for local food insecure populations, and measures that can help increase community capacity for food production. Our submission also contains recommendations intended to boost the long term economic viability of agriculture in our region. You can read the full submission here:

KFPC Mayor’s Task Force Submission June 5, 2020

 

We are happy to add Dave Zirnhelt of Snap Up Real Estate and Rate-My-Agent.com to our list of supporters. Dave is on a mission to create a long lasting, meaningful impact by giving back to worthy causes in our local community, and the Kamloops Food Policy Council is one of the organizations he reached out to!

Dave came out to the Butler Urban Farm to have a first-hand look at the work we’re doing and hear about some of our other initiatives aimed at building a more resilient local food system. We really appreciate the support of community-minded businesses like Snap Up Real Estate!

 

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The Kamloops community has demonstrated an amazing upswell of caring responses to ensure food security for all our residents during this time of pandemic.

Together with other organizations and community members, KFPC has compiled a list of food supports available during this time of COVID-19 social distancing. These support services have been changing frequently as the situation evolves, so we are doing our best to keep the information up to date. If you are aware of a food support that has changed or that isn’t on the list yet, please send us an email at info@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com.

So many people in our community are contributing generously to ensure everyone has access to food during this time. If you are in a position to contribute, our food supports resource also includes a section on how to help, compiling organizations’ requests for volunteers, needed items and links where financial donations are being accepted.

Thank-you to all those agencies and individuals who are rising to the challenge to see that everyone in our community has enough to eat.

 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has initiated a number of actions to address some of the issues resulting from the current Covid 19 situation, including bringing together emergency food providers to find solutions to the challenges they are all facing trying to get food to local food-insecure populations.

One problem that has been brought to our attention is that  hospital workers are going home hungry after a long shift and having trouble accessing ready-cooked meals because of restaurant closures. Pizza Pi, a downtown Kamloops independent business, has already stepped up to the plate to help feed our marginalized and homeless populations during this pandemic with a Pay It Forward campaign. They are extending the goodwill by offering free pizza delivery to anyone who works at RIH. A $25 donation buys a large pizza with 2 toppings and a 2 litre beverage for a Kamloops RIH Front Line Worker which will be delivered to them free by Pizza Pi. It’s a way to show our appreciation for the crucial work these folks are doing to keep the rest of us safe.

If you are able to contribute to this campaign, the KFPC can provide a charitable tax receipt for your donation.

To learn more, or make a contribution, go to our CanadaHelps Meals For Hospital Workers campaign page.

There is an excellent opportunity for local food businesses to grow through the Food Business Planning Workshop!

This workshop is ideal for micro, small, and medium-sized food processors looking to improve and/or expand their operations, as well as farmers looking to create value-added products.

Funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, in partnership with the Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA) and delivered by the Farm Food Drink team of specialists, the Food Processor Business Planning Workshop is a 2-day, 9 module workshop series that covers: business planning, marketing, product development, financial planning, quality management, packaging, production & costing, logistics, and resources & networking.

This 2-day workshop costs $100 +GST per participant and requires you to meet certain eligibility requirements. But, in return, you get access to industry experts, connect to people in the area, and you keep the 8 modules and exercises covered so that you can take what you worked on and apply it immediately to your business.

More information on the workshop can be found here.

Since January 2019, the Kamloops Food Policy Council has been working with several representatives from various governments, Indigenous communities, and community organizations to bring food plans/policies to life. This project, funded through the Real Estate Foundation, has a steering committee and two working groups. The working group focused on expanding food processing in Kamloops and area is celebrating an early success!

The Ministry of Agriculture just published a news release, “Revitalizing B.C. communities with regional food hubs,” announcing that the Kamloops Food Policy Council is one of six groups that will be developing feasibility studies and business plans to determine their potential and capacity to offer a food processing centre for their region. We are thrilled!

A full roll-out of project details, research needs, and job postings will be happening over the next two days. In the meantime, join us in celebrating this pivotal announcement thanks to the momentum of the Food Hub Working Group and our project partners, Kamloops Innovation and Tapestry Evaluation!!

We would like to introduce Mariana Guerra, who will be taking on the role of Gleaning Abundance Program Coordinator. Mariana hails from Mexico, and has a wealth of experience working with volunteers on various projects in Canada, Mexico, Peru, and China. She is a long-time advocate of social justice and keen to get behind the cause of food security.

Mariana  has been a GAP volunteer herself for several years and is eager to contribute her organizational and leadership skills to a program she loves! She is also passionate about growing food, and interested in learning more about growing organically and using permaculture principles in her garden.