LUSH Valley appealed to Courtenay council to help restart the Good Food Box Program for Vulnerable Citizens. File photo

LUSH Valley appealed to Courtenay council to help restart the Good Food Box Program for Vulnerable Citizens. File photo

Comox Valley organization hopes to restart food program

In a Monday presentation to Courtenay council, the LUSH Valley Food Action Society requested $100,000 to help restart the Good Food Box Program for Vulnerable Citizens. The group hopes the money could be provided through government’s Safe Restart funding program.

From April to December 2020, LUSH distributed 11,447 food boxes. Executive director Maurita Prato describes the boxes as “healthy hampers” that contain fresh food and some staple foods.

“We served 604 households,” she said, noting 83.2 per cent of recipients were Courtenay residents. “About $150,000 went directly to Comox Valley farmers and producers.”

Based on the Vital Signs report, one in five children in the Comox Valley experience poverty. Children also comprise 31 per cent of local food bank clients.

Based on a 2019 area profile, the percentage of the Valley’s population with low income is 21 per cent for children and youth, 14.7 per cent for adults and 12.3 per cent for seniors, says Kimberley Toonders, a community dietician at Island Health.

“The greatest predictor for food insecurity is low income,” Toonders said, noting food insecure populations have higher rates of chronic disease. “Stats show strong links with diabetes and heart disease, as well as decreased mental well-being. And as you can imagine, COVID-19 has increased the need for supports for food security.”

Prato said LUSH will strive to match city funding for the program.

“The goal is to have as much of the funding end up in the pockets of farmers and producers,” she said.

The society has secured three years of funding from the Vancouver Foundation to support staffing and development of a local food aggregation/distribution hub.

Council will discuss the request at a future meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read