The sudden onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, resulting in layoffs, requirements for self-isolation/quarantine, and a myriad of other challenges, has resulted in our organization evolving from our grass-roots food security activities to being an emergency frontline resource.

Over the past month, LUSH Valley and the Comox Valley Food Policy Council have been working with our community partners on our Emergency Food Share programs. I extend sincere thanks to our staff, board and volunteers for their roles in the successful launch of our Hot Meal and Good Food Box hamper programs. Everyone has been working extremely hard and their dedication, resilience and hard work are greatly appreciated.

We have secured facilities to run the Emergency Food Share program. These locations are for distribution only and the locations will not be released to the general public. This is in an effort to maintain COVID-19-related safety protocols and FoodSafe practices. The number of volunteers engaged will be limited, to keep everyone safe.

Hot Meal Program: April 1 we began preparing cooked meals for distribution through our community partners. 1,000 meals a week will be distributed through this program.

Good Food Hamper Program: Started April 8th, with 50 hampers/day for the first week to scale to 200/day (1,000/week).
Read the full synopsis of our activities on our website.

Education & Community Engagement: With our Hot Meal and Good Food Box delivery programs underway we now have time to turn more of our energy to skill-building and important discussions on Community Food Security and the local food economy in our region.

Join us for online workshops on cooking and gardening. (We’ll send an e-news about programs next week.)
A new podcast called ‘Community Food Security in a Pandemic- stay calm and grow food’ starts April 22. Watch our website and social media for links to the first episode.
We will also be hosting a discussion with local farmers and growers “Working Together Towards a Thriving Local Food Economy” and,
Participating in two Healthy Living Experts Forums to discuss Food Security and Healthy Eating.
Fundraising to support our Emergency Food Share program is ongoing. Thanks to the generous support of the Scotiabank, and their $5,000 matching grant, from now until April 30, the value of every donation will double! All donations, large and small, will help us feed our most vulnerable populations during these unprecedented times.

Please read about and consider signing the petition below, which challenges the Federal Government to change the rules with regard to the 75% wage subsidy. Many nonprofits — including LUSH Valley — are currently not eligible for this much-needed funding support.

Please stay home. Stay safe. Take care. (And plant a garden!)

Maurita Prato

Executive Director, LUSH Valley Food Action Society