By the West Kootenay EcoSociety
Bringing healthy, local food to families in need simply makes sense in these trying times.
West Kootenay EcoSociety launched a new project this summer to do just that, and it’s been so successful, they’re extending it to the end of the year.
With funding from a few grants and a lot of business sponsors and individual donors, Farms to Friends has EcoSociety staff and a group of committed volunteers delivering fresh local produce every week to low income families and seniors in the West Kootenay.
“We’ve been working with three local organic farms to bring weekly deliveries of their produce to 54 low income families in communities from Balfour to Rossland. The families are very appreciative, and it’s given the local farmers some guaranteed sales in this difficult year,” says Craig Mullin, Farms to Friends coordinator.
“Initially we planned to do this for 16 weeks, until the end of October. We’ve had tremendous support from local businesses, organizations and individuals sponsoring a week, a month, or the whole season. They’ve been so supportive, we’re now able to extend our deliveries to these families right until the end of the year.”
It’s also given Farms to Friends the opportunity to work with different farmers for November and December, providing a different selection of fresh produce, including eggs from Kootenay Natural Meats in Creston.
“I just really want to let you and the EcoSociety know how much me and my family appreciate the weekly veggie bag program. It not only gives us a bag full of healthy, local produce, but also the feeling of dignity that comes with the ability of feeding ourselves to our standards, even though financially it is rather tight at times. Our gratitude to you, the EcoSociety and the local farmers who are participating in this program,” says Maud, one of the Farms to Friends recipients.
Mullin picks up the food at the farms and distributes it to volunteers in each community who then deliver the food to people and families while following a safe, no contact, protocol.
“Our team of volunteers have been great. We would not have been able to make this project a success without their help,” Mullin adds.
EcoSociety would like to continue the deliveries into 2021 with root vegetables, eggs and other local produce to help people through the hardest months of the Kootenay winter.
People, businesses and organizations can still sponsor a family if they want to be part of Farms to Friends.
A full list of Farms to Friends sponsors is available on the EcoSociety website.
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.