Since mid August our beautiful Mobile Community Cooler has been fully functional and is now parked for everyone to see in the Wachiay Friendship Center parking lot at 1625B McPhee Ave.  The unit will allow for greater distribution of healthy local fruits and vegetables to people who need it the most and will help us ensure that less of the bounty of this region goes to waste. We are thrilled to have it operational in time for this years apple harvest. “We are so grateful to Comox Valley Community Foundation for funding this initiative, and to Wachiay Friendship Center for providing us space.” Says LUSH Valley Executive Director, Maurita Prato. “A very special thanks goes to superstar volunteer Gord Tooker who donated 100s of hours to the
project.” “I am a long time supporter and volunteer of LUSH Valley and their Fruit Tree Program”, says Gord, “I worked hard to get this cooler up and running, now we just need the fruit to come in!”

By this time last year the LUSH Valley Fruit Tree Program had harvested 21,604 pounds of local fruit and vegetables, by comparison this year only 1,600lbs have been harvested. “It’s been a weird year” says James McKerricher, Fruit Tree Program Coordinator, “mother nature has gone through a difficult winter, and we are seeing the results of poor pollination in this years fruit supply. What we really need is more people with fruit trees to contact us, so we can get the fruit distributed to people who need it” LUSH Valley’s Fruit Tree Program organizes teams of volunteers to go and pick fruit and vegetables from properties across the Comox Valley. The produce is then distributed 3 ways: a third to homeowners, a third to volunteers and a third to
social services clients.

“This poor fruit year reminds us that our local food system is vulnerable and that we need to continue to pull together as a community to ensure that those struggling with food insecurity have access to healthy local food.” states Prato, “Our collective work towards resilient local food systems is becoming increasingly important.”

If you have extra fruit or veggies to share please contact James McKerricher, Fruit Tree Program Coordinator at: fruit@lushvalley.org or 250- 331-0152

To find out more about LUSH Valley Food Action Society and our work visit:
www.lushvalley.org Or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @lushvalleyfood

LUSH Valley Food Action Society