The Nelson Food Cupboard Society has been awarded one of five $50,000 grants from Community Food Centres Canada as part of its Good Food Organizations program. The grant will enable the Nelson Food Cupboard to launch a community kitchen program, enhance its garden activities and build organizational capacity.
This grant stream, entitled Good Food Grants, is available to members of Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Organizations program which supports Canadian food security organizations by increasing their capacity to offer healthy and dignified food programs in their communities. The 2015 Good Food Grants, totalling $250,000, marks Community Food Centres Canada’s foray into grant-making activities.
“We are very exciting to receive this funding package, as well as strategic support from the staff at Community Food Centres Canada, to help us shift from a focus on emergency food access towards upstream solutions to local food insecurity,” said Marya Skrypiczajko, Nelson Food Cupboard coordinator.
Grantees have been selected from among Good Food Organizations across the country who have aligned themselves with Community Food Centres Canada based on shared principles, and who are working with low-income communities to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.
“Over the past three years, we have developed eight new Community Food Centre partnerships across the country, from Calgary to Dartmouth, and we’ve learned what it takes to succeed,” says Kathryn Scharf, chief operating officer.
Scharf says that grassroots organizations can have significant impacts with relatively modest investments, “but we must acknowledge that, as our safety net frays, the strands cannot be knit back together by organizations that are chronically understaffed and inconsistently resourced.
“We would love to see a full-fledged Community Food Centre in every town and city, and while we can’t do that today, we are working with organizations with similar values to test how sharing ideas and resources can accelerate their work and build a shared case for its value.”
The Nelson Food Cupboard is joined by four other grantees selected from across Canada.
The Nelson Food Cupboard Society operates a barrier-free food bank, a garden program, Harvest Rescue — a fresh produce gleaning program, and a holiday hamper program in December.
The society aims to engage low-income community members as volunteers and participants in all programs and to address local food security by sourcing as much food as possible locally. For more information, visit foodcupboard.org or like facebook.com/foodcupboard?ref=hl.