• Food Security

Our main goal is to ensure that all community members have access to adequate amounts of safe and nutritious foods and that it is provided in a manner that promotes dignity. Our programs include free or low-cost meals, community kitchens and community gardens.

What is Food Security?

Food security is the continuous access for all people to safe and nutritious food regardless of economic or social status

The concept of food security can be looked at through the principles of the Five A’s:

  1. Availability: Sufficient food for all people at all times.
  2. Accessibility: Physical and economic access to food for all at all times.
  3. Adequacy: Access to food that is nutritious and safe, and produced in environmentally sustainable ways.
  4. Acceptability: Access to culturally acceptable food, which is produced and obtained in ways that do not compromise people’s dignity, self-respect or human rights.
  5. Agency: The policies and processes that enable the achievement of food security.

ref: https://canadianfeedthechildren.ca/the-feed/food-security-guide/

Food Resilience Alliance

The Food Resilience Alliance is in their first season as a collective group working on food and agriculture projects across the SGIs.

Current Programs

Let No Apple Be Wasted!

Let No Apple Be Wasted is a new program, helping islanders preserve apples. The SGI CRC and the Gulf Islands Food Co-op are bringing preservation equipment, methods, and support to you this September and October.

There are many ways to participate.

You can….

  • Watch a video and learn preservation methods at home. A video will be released in early September with the help of experts and community volunteers on Saturna Island.
  • Glean apples (get free apples) if you are in need.
  • Donate apples if you have too many, and be matched with someone who can pick your apples.
  • Sign up to use equipment including a pressure canner, food dehydrator, and more at a location near you.
  • Sign up to receive free jars and lids if you are in need.

Email penderislandcrc@gmail.com to sign up.

In Partnership With

Freeze and Share Program

The ‘Freeze and Share’ program has professional Island cooks preparing a meal a week for vulnerable seniors and families. A menu is sent out each month and selected dishes can be reserved.

The meals are frozen and then distributed by the volunteers or picked-up. For those who can afford it, any donations are accepted. It is anticipated that holiday baking will also be included.

In addition, a special free cold lunch program for Mayne Island School will run daily for all children.

Seed Programs

Pender Island Seed Donation Program – We have approved starting a seed program on Pender Island in partnership with the Gulf Islands Food Co-Op. This project has purchased a small variety of easily grown vegetable seeds before there is a big ‘rush’ of seed demand in early spring (as was seen in Spring 2020). Seeds will be donated to interested growers in early spring. We also paid for coordination hours for the Gulf Islands Food Co-op.

Mayne Island Seed Library – We supported the growth of the seed library by purchasing a stock of seeds and other supplies in partnership with the Mayne Island Agricultural Society and Fall Fair. The seed library will continue from year to year, and will involve up to 50 islanders of all ages. When people ‘borrow’ seeds at the beginning of the year, they ‘return’ them at the end of the season thus ensuring the continuation of the seed stock. There is an online tool to see what seeds are available.

Seed Library of Galiano – This was launched in 2016 and now has a membership that currently comprises 10% of Galiano’s full-time population. In 2021 the CRC supported SLOG by providing marketing materials for the spring seed lending days.

Photo Source: Seed Library of Galiano

Kitchen Gardens Program

While the Southern Gulf Islands are a hotspot for home gardeners, many folks face barriers to growing their own food. Not having the space, time, or physical ability can all be challenges facing the hopeful gardener. The SGI CRC is donating three countertop gardens to seniors or families in need, and will provide the potting soil and seeds for them to start growing. The kits are equipped with self-timer grow lights and auto-watering capabilities, leading to convenience and ease while still learning how to grow food. Participants will receive training through Zoom workshops and will receive educational resources to support continuous growing. This pilot project is aiming to be the start of a larger initiative to address the barriers that vulnerable community members may face when wanting to grow their own food, resulting in self-sufficiency and resilience.

Click here for a demo video to help you set-up your kitchen garden. If you are having issues, please email foodwork@sgicommunityresources.ca

Are you hoping to grow food on Pender but need garden space? Do you have extra garden space that someone could use this year to grow food for the Island? Fill out an application to get matched with a garden or share your garden!

Click here to fill out the application 

  All of your information will be kept confidential and only available to program staff to set up introductions.

Community Garden Matching

The purpose of this program is to match needy families to private garden spaces to grow food. Individual house owners donate plots of a minimum 6 x 6 to families or seniors to build, develop and grow their own produce. 

The sharing of the garden plot is a great way to foster the growing and sharing of food. Volunteer vegetable gardeners share their knowledge, skills, and resources to the families/seniors to help develop food self-sufficiency and maintain health and healing.  We are also working to steward some gardens to teach about edible native plants.

The garden matching program has been adapted for winter and will include indoor herb garden kits that include seeds for various herbs, lettuce, and easy grown small vegetables. A link will be provided to Island residents to Zoom for herb/indoor garden training and instruction. The program is run in partnership with the Gulf Islands Food Co-op.

Coming Soon: Community Garden Mentorship Program

Suddenly there are lots of new people interested in food gardening and food producing, and they have a lot of questions! Fortunately the Southern Gulf Island has lots of experienced and even some master gardeners hopefully willing to pass along the torch of knowledge. This program will match up novice, experienced and master gardeners and food producers on the Southern Gulf Islands so that you can get the best yield possible.

Gulf Islands Food Co-op

Facilitating inter-island cooperation, the Food Co-op is creating new resources and practical supports, for our amazing Southern Gulf Islands food producers, valued eaters, and local food sustainability.  This includes welcoming Indigenous producers, and also following up on key priorities from the Southern Gulf Islands Food & Agriculture Strategy.  It also promotes food producers of all sizes and types, and island food groups, plus an Ecommerce system (for producer bulk buys, and future multi-producer online selling). Current plans also include classes, workshops, and references, to support local food resilience in the beautiful Southern Gulf Islands.

The Food Co-op with assistance from the SGICRC  provides a space for partners to collaborate, share best practices and advocate for food equity and justice, ecologically and culturally sustainable food systems, and community food resilience with a unified voice. With each local on Island event, we help to increase awareness around food security and reduce social isolation.

Volunteers

Opportunities for volunteers both senior and younger are available in any of our Food Security programs 

Click here to VOLUNTEER TO HELP     

Connect with us

Do you have an idea for a program or event on Mayne, Pender, Galiano, or Saturna Island to promote food security beyond the harvest months?  Do you have a skill that you would like to teach?  Do you have an existing program or event that could use support? We would like to hear from you.

We are looking for innovative program and event ideas. Click on your island below for contact information or view the project application form here.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia