Kate Wedemire (centre) of the FoodTree Project leads an “intro to garden skills” workshop.

Growing solutions to hunger in Nelson

The Nelson Food Cupboard is growing solutions to hunger.

The Nelson Food Cupboard is growing solutions to hunger.

The local non-profit has launched a program that aims to address some of the root causes of food insecurity. The Food Skills Project is a skills training program targeted towards Food Cupboard customers and others who experience challenges accessing healthy food.

The program started in June with an intro to garden skills workshop facilitated by the FoodTree Project. The workshop series will cover a wide range of topics related to growing, preparing and preserving healthy food. Workshop topics will include container gardening, pickles, sprouting, composting, baking bread and wildcrafting.

Participants are excited about the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with others. According to one workshop participant, “we all left feeling motivated and equipped to get into the garden, and just a little more in charge of our food and the choices surrounding it.”

Coordinator Anna Kirkpatrick explained that the workshop series was inspired by the Food Cupboard’s customers and volunteers.

“This program builds on the success of our existing volunteer program,” she said. “Opportunities to participate in a workshop, work as a volunteer or learn new skills have been transformative for many of our customers. We see this program as a small step towards a future where emergency food services are no longer needed.”

The Nelson Food Cupboard operates a barrier-free food bank and works to address the root causes of food insecurity. The Food Cupboard’s customers are a diverse group and include families, children, seniors and people with disabilities. The Food Skills project complements the Food Cupboard’s existing programming which includes a Harvest Rescue Program, a Grow-A-Row initiative and an annual Holiday Hamper campaign.

The Food Skills Program is made possible by a grant from the Columbia Basin Trust Social Grants Program.

For more information or to apply please contact the Nelson Food Cupboard at 250-354-1633 or foodcupboard@shawbiz.ca

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