Food waste in Canada has hit a critical level with over $31 billion worth of food entering landfills in 2014 and 47 per cent of that waste coming from individual households.
The Comox Valley is blessed with one of the most desirable food growing climates in Canada and has many backyard fruit trees that grow in abundance. Unfortunately, much of that fruit falls to the ground uneaten and is left to rot.
Since 2002, LUSH (Let us Share the Harvest) Valley has run a Fruit Tree Program that aims to reduce local food waste by picking and redistributing fruit and produce to those who need it most. Over the past 13 years LUSH Valley has picked well over 35,000 pounds of naturally grown food which is shared equally between homeowners, pickers and LUSH Valley who re-distributes their share to local community organizations such as the Comox Valley Food Bank and community schools.
This year, LUSH is gearing up for another abundant season and is currently looking for homeowners and farms who have surplus fruit trees, berry bushes or other produce available to harvest. Home and farm owners benefit not only by being able to keep one-third of the food and having a cleaner yard or field, but by the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to reduce local food waste and help those in need.
LUSH is also looking for more volunteers to help with the picks. Harvesting is an excellent chance to get some fresh air, a little exercise, to get to know other members of the community and take home fresh food.
If you want to dedicate your trees or some time to being involved in an important food security tradition in the Comox Valley, or have an organization that is in need of fresh produce, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-331-0152 for more information.
We are also looking for donated supplies such as fruit and produce boxes, picking bibs, poles, pails and other relevant tools.
This summer come help LUSH Valley do our part in reducing Canada’s food waste while having some fun and making a positive difference in the community.