Community Connections has started a chef-created meal distribution program with funding from Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Access Fund.
The meals will be prepared at the community centre kitchen, frozen, then distributed to households through a variety of agencies, volunteers and programs.
In the first week of the program 250 meals were prepared with production increasing this week and The Taco Club providing enchilada meals to bolster the program.
“The chefs involved are so pleased to support our community through the COVID-19 crisis by creating nutritious, tasty meals for local people to enjoy,” said Melissa Hemphill, Food Security Coordinator for Community Connections. “This project really speaks to our food program motto creating community through food.”
Chefs Charlotte Sit, Heidi Shaffer, Simon Paterson, Erica German, Austin Luciow and Glen Cherlet receive a small honorarium for the hours they put in to create the meals, working solo in the kitchen.
Volunteer Laurent Saulnier is helping to keep the project on track, as additional safety measures are in place due to the pandemic.
“This project came together through a variety of partnerships, and we owe John at the Big Eddy Pub a big thanks for helping us source our ingredients”, said Hemphill.
Food security was an urgent problem before the COVID-19 crisis, with one in eight Canadians struggling to put food on the table.
“In a time of national crisis, it is in our nature as Canadians to do what we can for our most vulnerable neighbours,” said Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada.
The program is funded with a $20,000 grant from Community Food Centres Canada as well as the Federal Government’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund, as part of the Food Policy for Canada.
The City of Revelstoke is also providing in-kind support for the project.
“We can’t forget that structural inequity is at the core of so many of the challenges that Canadians face, a fact which painfully confronts us when an emergency like this occurs,” Saul said.