North Okanagan Regional Community Food Hub Initiative
What is L2T’s role?
In the North Okanagan region, the Land to Table Network is a steward for United Way’s Regional Community Food Hub, addressing challenges and opportunities within the emergency food sector and increasing organizational capacity and impact.
“The North Okanagan Land to Table Network supports the vision to build a thriving, healthy, just, and resilient regional food system. As a ‘hub steward’, Land to Table is working in collaboration with project partners to build organizational capacity in order to support the connections and delivery of more local food, grown by our local farmers. United Way’s Regional Community Food Hubs initiative is enabling us to increase access to fresh, nutritious, local food to those in our communities who need it most, through an approach that also supports the local food economy,” says Liz Blakeway, Land to Table Network Director.
Over the past year, in collaboration with United Way BC, Land to Table has fulfilled this role by working collaboratively with the Okanagan Indian Band, The Good Food Box and the White Valley Resource Centre. Together, the Food Hub and its partners have delivered over 3,200 hampers and meals filled with local eggs, meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables to seniors, young families, and those impacted by the wildfires and floods of 2021. In all program delivery, there is a goal to include local food from small to medium-scale farmers growing in the North Okanagan.
Learn more about how United Way BC “brings more than just food to the table” in their recent Food Security story on their website here.
What is a Regional Community Food Hub project?
As an innovative approach to food security, multiple partners in United Way’s Regional Community Food Hubs co-create solutions that address specific regional needs in small towns, rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, as well as city neighbourhoods with increasing food insecurities. This model not only increases accessibility of food for families, but also provides food literacy programming and wellness activities, and other wrap-around services such as mental health support, employment services, childcare, and more – for fuller plates and hearts.
Find other Regional Community Food Hubs in BC here.
Why is this work important?We take the view that access to food is a basic human right. When individuals and communities have food security it means they have access to healthy, sustainable, affordable, and culturally connected food. Food security in turn helps to support physical and mental wellbeing, economic stability, and social cohesion. For many, the pandemic has made it more difficult to access the food they need to thrive. It is important that solutions for addressing food insecurity come from the community and work towards systemic change. It is also important that we recognize the root causes of poverty, which include lack of adequate income and the different levels of policy and support that is needed to tackle hunger.
How is this work being funded?
The North Okanagan Regional Community Food Hub is made possible with support from United Way British Columbia – working with communities in BC’s Interior, Lower Mainland and Central & Northern Vancouver Island and the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.