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.

 

Call it providence, karma, serendipity, or what you will, but sometimes just what you need shows up just when you need it . . .

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has a couple of projects on the go at the Public Produce garden and  the Community Garden in McDonald Park. We had an RBC “Day of Service” scheduled at the park, and I was on the lookout for some plants so the team could fill some empty spaces in the Public Produce beds. While I was at the park the day before thinking about where I should go to find some good, inexpensive veggie plants, a guy drives up in a van and shouts out the window, “Hey, do you want some tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants?” “Seriously?”, I replied?

He opens up the back of his van, and there are several flats of beautiful, healthy-looking, vegetable transplants. Neto, and his daughter, Giovanna, help me carry them over to a shady spot where they can sit until the next day. “You made my day”, he says. “I didn’t know what I was gonna do with all these plants and I couldn’t bear to just throw them out”. Then they drove off, smiling and waving.

I made HIS day? I was just left standing there in amazement at what just happened. There were enough plants to fill the spaces in the beds as well as some extras to pass on to our friend Barb Lundstrom who grows a garden for the SHOP kitchen at ASK Wellness.

The RBC team showed up the next day as planned, and as well as planting all those veggies, they prepared and planted two “Three Sisters” beds with corn, beans, and squash, and cleaned up and weeded a couple of vacant Community Garden plots. All this in the 30 degree plus heat of the afternoon! On top of all that, they donated $1000 to the KFPC!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank-you so much RBC for an amazing program and an amazing team! You have made a real difference – none of that work would have gotten done without your efforts!

And thank-you Neto, for your kind gesture and your community spirit!

Perhaps you’d like to have a garden and grow your own food, BUT . . . you don’t have access to a suitable plot of land you don’t have tools you don’t have enough knowledge to do it yourself you want to do it in a community of others who share your values Our Garden […]

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind.

SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

Part of the Films for Change series
Sponsored by TRU’s Office of Environment and Sustainability
A panel discussion to follow the screening | Admission by donation

Doors open at 6:30, film starts at 7 PM
TRU Alumni Theatre (Clocktower) | 900 McGill Road

One of the awesome things about a seed library is that it attracts  generous people who love to grow unusual fruit and vegetables. Ann-Marie Hunter is thrilled with the soybean varieties she’s been growing, and wanted to share them, so she contacted us about donating some to our library. Of course we said, “Yes, Please!”

CC photo by Jessica Lucia

We are also awaiting a donation of some kiwano (horned melon) seeds. I turns out they are not only beautiful to behold, but are packed with antioxidants and have a lot of health benefits.

Sharing seed is the best way to ensure that unusual or heirloom varieties continue to survive and thrive. The more people growing them, the better the chance they have. A small amount of seed can go a long way – the estimated return on a bean seed is 120/1!

For more information, check out the Seed Library page on our website or look for us this summer and fall at the Farmers Market and other local events.

The KFPC is a network of groups and individuals who value our local food assets and don’t mind sharing! The Mount Paul Community Food Centre often has volunteer groups come to help out in their garden. Today’s crew harvested beautiful strawberries and then sat in the shade to cool off and enjoy some.

Some of the amazing, fresh-picked strawberries along with vitamin and mineral-packed organic spinach donated by Gardengate – ready to be washed and used in the Mount Paul kitchen. What would you make . . . ?