The Comox Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) is playing a major role in making LUSH Valley Food Action Society’s dream of owning its forever home a reality.
In August, LUSH (Let Us Share the Harvest) announced the purchase of a permanent location, at 2342 Rosewall Crescent in Tin Town. LUSH took possession of the new location on Oct. 1.
The CVCF agreed to a $75,000 impact loan towards the down payment for LUSH’s new space.
Impact investing refers to investments in charitable or non-profit social enterprises with the intention of producing a social or environmental impact. The loan is repaid to the investor, often with a financial return, but more importantly, the investor expects a social impact resulting from the investment.
“First of all, congratulation to LUSH Valley, its dedicated board members, staff and volunteers for their tireless efforts to secure a permanent home,” said Christine Helpard, CVCF’s President. “We are delighted to be involved and thank LUSH Valley for reaching out and trusting us as we developed a new program to support impact investments in the Comox Valley.
“Over the past two years, LUSH has demonstrated its ability to support our community during a time of crisis, offering over 1,000 meals and healthy food deliveries each week through their healthy student meal, good food box and hot meal programs. It is most remarkable that this was accomplished while operating out of multiple spaces, often at the same time. We look forward to watching what can be achieved now they are operating out of a single facility.”
“Our new location offers certainty to our organization at a time when a lot is uncertain,” said LUSH Valley executive director, Maurita Prato. “We see this new space as a community food asset, and our role as taking responsibility to steward this asset for the greatest benefit of the Comox Valley community. We are honoured to be the first recipients of the CVCF’s impact investment program – and take pride that we will be supporting both social and financial gains towards more good work across the region.”
CVCF’s impact loan to LUSH Valley Food Action Society will generate a blended value return, providing both a financial return (interest paid on the loan) and a social benefit to our community. The interest LUSH Valley pays will be subsequently re-invested in the community through grants to local charities, similar to the income CVCF earns on its traditional investments.
Impact investing is just one more way CVCF supports the Comox Valley community. Up to five per cent of CVCF assets will be made available for impact investing purposes, allowing CVCF to offer debt financing to registered charities within the Comox Valley.
For further information about the CVCF impact investing program or to learn more about how you can make a lasting impact, visit www.cvcfoundation.org or call 250-338-8444.