At LUSH Valley, we love good food, and see it as a transformative way to connect, empower and inspire people. By supporting people to access, grow, process, prepare, and eat good food, together we are improving lives. Please consider supporting our work with a gift this season and help us accelerate towards our vision of a food secure Comox Valley.
As 2018 draws to a close we have so much to be grateful for. This year, with your support, LUSH Valley touched the lives of 7785 people across the region. Here is what one of our volunteers had to say about the Fruit Tree Program:
“The program directly supports our community and I have seen families, elderly, young professionals and all sorts of people benefiting from the fresh fruit and veg. I love seeing the fruit get a second life in the lush canning workshops and in cider production. It’s amazing to see what our little valley can produce! I tell everyone I meet outside of the valley and in about the programs. I am proud of the work completed by LUSH.”
Through our Fruit Tree and Farm Gleaning Programs, just over a 100 volunteers helped us harvest over 45,000 pounds of fruit from backyards throughout the Comox Valley, an additional 5,800 pounds of vegetables and farmed fruits were gleaned from local farms. LUSH distributed the harvested produce to clients from 12 social service agencies. In the pilot year of our Farm Gleaning program, 5960 servings of garden vegetables, from 10 local farms, went to 10 community organizations, serving roughly 1500 people.
“I loved the smiles, the laughter, the comradery, the relaxed community feel that were a direct result of having access to food security. I just want to say thank you for making The Washington community come together and gel in a way that has not ever happened here. Tenants learned about fresh greens, learned how to cook and eat them and openly began caring for one another. Thank you so much!”
-Bev Miller,BC Housing Tenant Support Worker
In 2018, youth from our Young Cooks program prepared (and ate!) 930 meals for themselves and their families. Our Community Kitchen, Dad’s Night Out: Little Chef and other healthy food programs engaged 1056 families and friends in the joy of good food.
“Both of my girls came home more confident in the kitchen! One of them who has claimed to hate avocado since birth has a new found love after following your guacamole recipe”
– Kiesha Brasnyo, Parent of Young Cooks Participants
At our Share the Harvest Community garden, we had over 130 people garden and/or attend events in including: work parties, community meetings, workshops, potlucks, and our weekly therapeutic gardening group. We had a wonderful season of making friends, growing tasty food, and getting dirt under our nails.
“Having a garden bed that I can access from my wheelchair has opened my world back up. I grew food on a farm for 7 years and now that I live in a wheelchair I have had to move to a town apartment. Share The Harvest Garden is helping me get back to a place where I can grow my own food independently. I hope to see the garden grow more accessible to people with accessibility needs as time go by. I can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity.” – STH Community Gardener
We know our work is changing lives, but we are also painfully aware that the need in our community far outweighs our reach. Did you know that the child poverty rate in the Comox Valley is 20%? That is higher than the provincial average and means that 1 in 5 children in our community deal with food insecurity on a regular basis.
This season, will you help us nourish our community by giving the gift of healthy food?
$25 would allow a school group to tour the garden and learn about growing food,
$50 would provide distribution of fruit and farm to five community agencies
$100 would support a student to take classes as part of our 6 week Young Cooks session