The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition and Fields Forward Society are working together to process cherries and provide the products to people in need including cherry juice that will be produced with a mobile presser. This project is being supported by Columbia Basin Trust. (Photo credit: Andrew Bibby)

Feeding families, reducing food waste

Ten food recovery projects receive over $440,000 from Columbia Basin Trust

More people in the Creston Valley will have better access to nutritious food and healthy meals as 2 food recovery projects move forward to reduce food waste and help families meet their basic needs.

The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition is receiving $52,666 from the Columbia Basin Food Recovery Initiative for their Harvest Share Food Recovery 2.0 program to coordinate the processing and distribution of value-added products from recovered cherries. Harvest Share Food Recovery will also facilitate a series of cooking classes for families using gleaned and donated ingredients.

The Fields Forward Society is receiving $48,000 for their Healthy Food for All: Fresh Food From Waste program to purchase a commercial dehydrator and other equipment to make culled cherries into value-added products for distribution to lower-income youth and children.

“Communities told us that making essentials like nutritious food more affordable and accessible is a priority for improving well-being in our region,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Director, Delivery of Benefits at Columbia Basin Trust. “Food recovery is one way that we can meet the needs of children and families, while also helping to reduce food waste and loss.”

The Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (CVFAC) and Fields Forward Society are working together to take cherries not destined for retail and turn them into products like juice and fruit leather. Local community service organizations, like food banks and shelters, will then distribute these products to people in need.

Each year cherries in the Creston Valley are diverted from commercial shipping and the fresh market. “Many of these are of good quality but fail to meet cosmetic standards,” said Elizabeth Quinn, Strategic Planner, Fields Forward Society. “This project will enable youth and children to access fresh fruit products processed in the Creston Valley, reducing waste, adding value to fruit and enhancing food security.”

In addition to the cherry project, CVFAC will also be offering cooking classes to in-need families, providing them with both meals and long-term food skills. Most ingredients will be recovered from places like farms and grocery stores.

CVFAC Director Paris Marshall Smith says these activities will “increase the reach of our current recovery and distribution programs to neighbouring communities, strengthen and expand our partnerships with community groups and others, and increase knowledge and awareness about how we can better feed ourselves using local resources in a sustainable, healthy, secure and environmentally sound way.”

One of the objectives of the Trust’s Social Strategic Plan is to help people afford and meet basic needs like food. The Trust is also partnering with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to expand its Nutrition Coupon Program within the Basin. Learn about all the ways the Trust is supporting social well-being at ourtrust.org/social.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8

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