North Okanagan Regional Community Food Hub Initiative

What is L2T’s role?

As a steward of the United Way British Columbia Regional Community Food Hub project, Land to Table will be working to connect and support community organizations working to make food more accessible to those living in the North Okanagan. As part of this initiative, over the next six months Land to Table will work to build and deepen relationships with key project partners (as listed below) and broaden connections with organizations working to provide access to food in the community. Drawing on advisory support from the Social Planning Council (Vernon) and Interior Health, we aim to foster a network of community organizations, public servants, businesses, farmers and funders, working towards more equitable access to local food for those living in the North Okanagan. This is an approach that is familiar to us, but with a focus this time, on food access. We will directly engage with these sectors through a meeting/conversations series, to better understand the opportunities for increased collaboration and the funding and infrastructure gaps and needs.

Who are our project partners?

Our new Food Access Coordinator, Kelly Panchyshyn, will be partnering with the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), The Good Food Box and the White Valley Resource Centre to assess need, secure additional resources, launch new programs, and strengthen their volunteer networks.

What is a Regional Community Food Hub project?

United Way’s Regional Community Food Hub initiative aims to address British Columbia’s growing and shifting food needs by providing funding and support to a locally based network of community partners working together to improve food security in their regions. This work looks different in each region but includes: direct food distribution as well as food literacy and skills programming, community gardens, farm education, and other wrap-around services accessible for all that need them.

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 can I get involved?

To learn more or express interest in being a part of the project please reach out to Kelly at hello@landtotablenetwork.com.

What does this work look like on the ground?

We will share the work of project partners and findings from the food access sector conversations as the project work unfolds over the next six months.

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.