West Kootenay EcoSocietys Farms to Friends program continues to support families through the Kootenays by providing local, farm-fresh produce. Photo: Submitted

West Kootenay EcoSocietys Farms to Friends program continues to support families through the Kootenays by providing local, farm-fresh produce. Photo: Submitted

Farm to Friends invests in Kootenay farmers and families

West Kootenay EcoSociety created Farms to Friends during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Serving 87 households from Balfour to Castlegar and through to Trail, Rossland and the Beaver Valley — the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Farms to Friends program delivers fresh food weekly to families and seniors throughout the Kootenays.

Fresh food is supplied by local farmers and food producers such as Bent Plow Farms, Cartwheel Farms, Chuckleberry Farms, Linden Farms, Au Soleil Levant, Mr. Mercy’s Mushrooms, Kaslo Sourdough, Kootenay Natural Meats, Kootenay Food, Kootenay Bakery Cafe Co-op, and Sliverking Tofu.

Levi Nicoll, owner of The Kootenay Bakery Cafe Co-op, is a regular food supplier to the Farms to Friends program.

“Good quality organic food is the cornerstone of healthy eating,” Nicoll shares. “Providing access to those who cannot afford it gives us a sense of joy knowing we can help families in need.”

Farms to Friends was created during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

The program was conceived to provide local food security during a time of global supply chain issues stemming from uncertainty and fear.

As inflation continues to soar to record-breaking heights, the EcoSociety assures that Farms to Friends will continue to provide stability to participants while stimulating the local economy.

The program supplies families in need with bags of fresh produce weekly.

Also, Farms to Friends has invested over $150,000 in the local economy through the support of over 30 farms and food producers.

With the help of volunteers, donors, and business sponsors, the program continues to support 87 families and seniors including 36 single-parent families. The benefits are significant as the cost of living rises

Farms to Friends will be hosting a series of workshops this year to promote the development of food skills and knowledge for youth, families, and seniors creating more food secure households and building healthy lifelong habits.

West Kootenay EcoSociety is a non-profit community-driven organization that brings together local residents to protect the natural environment while building just, equitable, healthy, and livable communities in the West Kootenay region.

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