With a strategy in place to shift to the Comox Valley Curling Club for the spring and summer, LUSH Valley Food Action Society is hoping for some financial support from the communities it serves.
The organization’s executive director Maurita Prato said LUSH (Let Us Share the Harvest) – which helps people within the Comox Valley gain local food system skills, knowledge and access to good food – received the good news about using the facility at the curling club for its programs from April to August a few weeks ago.
Last year, the organization was able to use the curling club space for its Good Food Box program, which began in 2019 as a pilot program, serving 50 people for 10 weeks. The original plan was to make it bigger this year once the growing season was well underway, but due to the pandemic, the program restarted in April 2020. There have been nearly 10,000 deliveries of boxes so far every other week, with nearly 60 households on the waitlist.
Currently, LUSH is operating out of the lower Filberg Centre to facilitate the program along with its Hot Meal Program.
“Currently, we’re doing a month-to-month with the City (of Courtenay), but with the curling club, we’re looking at a larger space and there’s no need to pay for the rental. The (Good Food Box) program will ramp up (in the spring and summer) as more local food becomes available,” said Prato.
The organization aims to increase more local food access to those who are vulnerable with more funding, and Prato reached out to Courtenay council in January and will do the same with Comox this month.
“Cumberland has their own box program and we partner with them, but we’re serving about four per cent (of the population) in Comox. It’s hard to ask for help and we’re not asking anyone to prove anything, but (in Comox) we find we’re serving lower-income seniors.”
LUSH is seeking up to $25,000 from the town and asked for $100,000 from Courtenay. Prato understands the numbers are a big ask but added each municipality is receiving COVID-19 safe restart funding from the province in which they could draw upon.
Prato will present to Comox council during its regular council meeting on Feb. 17 which can be streamed live on the town’s YouTube page.