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COVID-19 and food security

In this current and ever-changing climate of COVID-19, we understand that now is the time for action to protect our local food system, and provide support to the Nanaimo Community.  Nanaimo Foodshare has been working (from home!) to ensure local food access and the continuity of our programs that serve the most vulnerable in our community.

Here is an update on some of our programs, and what we’re working on.

Urban Farms

Our farms, Five Acres and Cline Agri-Health Centre, are still operating.  Interested volunteers can sign up here.  We will contact volunteers to orient regarding our safety protocols and book a time to help.  Much of the food grown here will be used in our Good Food Boxes, helping keep costs down and increase the supply of fresh produce in these boxes. Excess produce will also be sold to the community. We are using appropriate social distancing as we plant these crops and are looking forward with much hope and anticipation to this year’s growing season.

Good Food Box

The $10 Good Food Box program provides an essential service to many low-income families and we are working hard to ensure we can meet all required health protocols. Foodshare is currently exploring delivery options for the box, and looking to increase delivery to twice monthly. If you have ordered, or plan to order the April 8 box, please stay tuned for details as we work out the specifics.

Cooking Classes

We are transitioning our cooking classes to a hands-on, online format.  You and your family will be able to participate in a cooking class from home with other families and an instructor. We will all share in the cooking and conversation, virtually.  Look for registration info for our rescheduled classes (The BC Farmer’s Marketing Cooking Classes, Kids Get Cooking for school-age kids, and Food and Mood) the first week of April.

Cultivating Abilities 

We are continuing to support our participants remotely, and connect them with work in high demand jobs during this time. Our participants will be supporting farm functions.  Fortunately the farm is able to provide a work environment where safe social distancing is easy to achieve. Coordinators are also setting up opportunities for participants to continue their learning in an online format.

Everyone At The Table (EAT)

Nanaimo Foodshare is committed to supporting all our participants through this time of social distancing and connecting with participants and the community to decrease social isolation. We will continue to work together to support participants in employment skills, social enterprise (soup program), and farm activities. Participants are also exploring ways to provide peer supports to the community. Please stay tuned for updates.

Farmers’ Market Online

The social distancing requirement and temporary closure of the Island Roots Farmer’s Market has left a significant gap in the ability of local farmers to sell their products, and for residents to purchase local food. To mitigate this issue, we are working in consultation with local farmers and business owners to get an online Farmer’s Market up and running to ensure access to local food for the community. We invite interested vendors to contact Jen Cody at jen.cody@nanaimofoodshare.ca.

Foodshare Film Group 

This group has been put on hold at this time. 

School Meals/Summer Lunch Munch

Nanaimo Foodshare is in talks with the School Foundation and other organizations to ensure we can still provide food to school-aged children who are in need. Please stay tuned for updates regarding this program the first week of April.

We thank you for your continued support at this time. We know our community is struggling with the impact of this pandemic, but we also see many signs of hope. We’re planting seeds of gratitude, hope and resilience and hope you will too!

Jen Cody
Executive Director
Nanaimo Foodshare Society

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