Local gardeners organize to grow food for others
Earlier in the year, a post on the Nanoose Bay Networking Facebook group caught my eye. The author – a Nanoose gardener – was concerned about food insecurity and posed the great question of “…is there some way that as a community, we can get together and strategically grow food that can be shared with the community to offset food insecurity locally. Is there someone or a group that would be willing to get involved with something of this nature?”
They were offering to grow food in their home garden patch and organize neighbours to do the same. My first thought was Yes, Yes, Yes. Second thought was let’s offer Food Day as a conduit to connect their offerings directly to local folks facing food insecurity the most: our food program participants.
How Food Day works
Once a month, the volunteer Food Team meets with food program participants. Food Day, as we call it, is where we get to check-in with each person and distribute the monthly grocery gift card, bi-monthly pet food cards, fresh bags of produce from Nanaimo Food Share and cartons of eggs that Springford Farm donates.
Food Day is a meaningful time for connection and an important part of the program. It’s a grassroots wellness check, a safe space that provides a sense of community amongst participants and volunteers.
Grow they did
It’s now October and for the past few months Food Day has been particularly colourful with nourishing, Nanoose-grown vegetables & fruits thanks to these neighbours. They organized and grew lots of food, showing up with boxes full of their homegrown, delicious vegetables and give to us to distribute to folks who want and need them. And they’ve inspired more neighbours to do the same. “More of us are thinking ahead to next year, what more can we plant and coordinate?”
As we enter into the colder months in Nanoose when there is less growing in the gardens, we want to send a heartfelt thank you to all volunteers, neighbours, family and friends for making this produce available after months of preparation and care.
May we all keep growing together.
If you’d like to donate to the Food Program and help offset the monthly cost of food for families in need in Nanoose, please head to the donate page donate page of our website to learn how. Your $50 donation can help buy fresh food in the off season for 5 households.