LUSH Valley now has a home to call their own.
On Aug. 24, Maurita Prato, executive director of the organization that aims to increase local food system skills, knowledge and access to food noted they take possession of their permanent home at 2342 Rosewall Crescent in Tin Town on Oct. 1 – a first for the non-profit.
“I know that we all had a healthy dose of nervous excitement as the board voted to remove the final conditions relating to financing and board approval,” said Prato. “This is a very big deal for our organization- a huge step in the right direction and a big weight off of all of us to know that we have a permanent location that we will have possession of on October 1.”
Prato explained the space represents certainty for the organization moving forward and the hope is that the property will be used and viewed as a community food asset, meaning many organizations, individuals and farmers will benefit from the space and the infrastructure within.
The location itself is central to the entire Comox Valley which helps to be a good location for food storage and distribution and for serving the entire region.
The space consists of four separate areas: a warehouse space for storing and packing food, office spaces and meeting space, and site of a future commercial kitchen.
Last year, LUSH was able to use the Comox Valley Curling Club for its Good Food Box program, which began in 2019 as a pilot program, serving 50 people for 10 weeks. There have been more than 10,000 deliveries of boxes so far every other week, with nearly 60 households on the waitlist.
The boxes are “healthy hampers” that contain fresh food and some staple foods.
Additionally, the organization used space inside the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.
Prato added their new location is located around other non-profit organizations, and she noted she envisions sharing their space and assisting the larger community.
“We have one office space remaining that we could rent out and space where we could help farmers.”
The timing of the purchase worked well heading into the fall, she said. In one week, the organization will be moving its operations from the Comox Valley Curling Club and the kitchen inside the Filberg Centre to Kloverdalen farm for the month of September prior to their possession date.
LUSH is continuing to fundraise to cover the cost of their downpayment, closing costs and taxes.
Every Wednesday evening until Sept. 22 they are hosing their Meals for a Deal program and on Sept. 12, they are hosting a Farm to Table Dinner at Amara Farm.
For more information about the new home or the fundraising meals, visit lushvalley.org.