Since vacating the facility at 1126 Piercy Ave. on Sept. 30, LUSH Valley has been growing strong.
“It was hard to let go”, says Bunny Shannon, LUSH Valley president. “So many people put so much heart and soul into the building.”
Persistent problems at the site precipitated the move.
“The issues at the facility disrupted our programs and created uncertainty for our clients,” says Shannon “Resolving these issues required significant time and capital investment far beyond our capacity. We felt it was better to direct our resources toward outreach, programs, education, and advocacy.”
LUSH Valley will now have a wider presence in the community and will reach more people in more locations. Becoming a “virtual” office for the time-being enables LUSH Valley to allocate more resources to ensure individuals, groups and organizations have greater access to food related programs throughout the region. As an Island Health Food Security Hub and a Good Food Organization, LUSH Valley will continue to work with the community to push the food security agenda forward in the Comox Valley.
“Since announcing we will be leaving the location and ‘going virtual’, we have been overwhelmed and humbled with community support,” said Shannon. “So many community organizations have reached out.”
This fall, LUSH Valley has partnered with Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections to offer the popular Young Cooks Program at Lake Trail School. LUSH Valley will also be collaborating with the City of Courtenay and the LINC to offer food skills workshops and to support the LINC’s Free Food Frenzy. Look for program descriptions in the upcoming Comox Valley Winter Recreation Reporter.
The ever-popular Fruit Tree Program had a very strong season with more than 25,000 pounds of fresh food picked and re-distributed within the community.
The planning has already begun for an even bigger 2016 season with hopes to obtain a mobile community cooler to distribute fresh food directly to the community.
The Share the Harvest Community Garden has seen tremendous community support with the construction of an accessible gardening space, and many more upgrades, programming and workshops are currently being planned for 2016.
LUSH Valley has also started a new series of workshops led by local elders to preserve and pass on traditional/local food knowledge through storytelling, sharing meals, cooking, nature walks/foraging, and other food-related activities for youth. These workshops will be held at differing locations in the community throughout the fall and winter.
There are many other new and exciting ideas in the works to expand programming, and LUSH Valley is working very hard during this fall and winter season to bring the very best to you. They welcome suggestions and are always looking for volunteers and workshop facilitators.
LUSH Valley can be reached at 250-331-0152, emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or appointments to chat in person can be booked. LUSH Valleycalso has a Facebook page, which is updated regularly.
LUSH Valley would like to thank everyone in the Comox Valley for all their continued support. This transition will keep LUSH viable and healthy so they can continue to work toward a just food system for all.