Community Outreach and Development
Program Goals: To meet the immediate and emergency food needs of people in our Community while working towards long term solutions to hunger and poverty.
Client Eligibility: New clients requesting food bank assistance are asked to complete an application and provide the following information:
• Proof of residency – rent receipts, hydro or cable bill
• Proof of family and dependents – Recipient must provide BC Health Care Cards for each person in the household
• Proof of income – recent salary or EI stub or slip, print out from your bank
• Identification – picture ID, for each adult, such as a driver’s license, BC Identification, passport or status card
• Proof of current address – rent receipts, utility bills, etc.
The Food Bank program provides:
• Weekly distribution of food – following a client choice model
• Kids Snack Program
• Christmas Hampers during the month of December
• Personal hygiene items and vitamins
• Referrals to other services as required
• Nutrition and skill building workshops
• When available: donated clothing, household items, furniture, blankets and bus tickets
• Annual on-site diabetes testing and flu shots
• Community Volunteer Tax Program
The Food Bank is open every Friday between 8:30 am and 11:00 am and is located downstairs at the Legion, 600 First Street West (entrance from Garden Avenue)
Currently we have fifteen to twenty dedicated people who spend more than 400 hours each month sorting and repackaging food, preparing food hampers, assisting with distribution and helping at special events. We could not do what we do at the Food Bank without our amazing volunteers; many whom have given freely of their time for more than sixteen years. Their commitment is immeasurable and invaluable!
For more information, to donate or volunteer, contact Program Director, Patti Larson:
• Phone: 250-837-2920 ext. 28
• Email: email@example.com
• In Person: At the Food Bank during the times listed above, or during regular office hours at Community Connections office located at 314 Second Street East.
The food bank gratefully accepts all donations.
As a single disabled mother of a child in elementary school, it has always been difficult to manage the small amount of food money we have left after paying rent and bills. With the cost of living in today’s world we live far under the poverty level of even the average norm of what poverty is for a single family in BC. About half actually! Every month is a huge financial struggle for us just to meet our basic needs.
The Food Bank’s subsidy of healthy food provides us staples for the month when receiving our stocked hamper. We also receive health conscious lunch snacks, veggies, fruits, milk, bread and canned items on a weekly basis. Without this generosity from the community my child and I would be severely malnourished and hungry daily.
Daily life is a personal struggle, trying to balance a lack of funds in an expensive world. The Food Bank program and its workers and volunteers step up past the “plate” when it comes to helping families move forward to a more positive future. Food in the bellies of children and the hungry … is definitely food for thought.”
Community Connections Food Bank is a member of Food Banks BC, Food Banks Canada and Good Food Organizations.
Kids Snack Program
At the Food Bank, we believe the best way to ensure proper nutrition for our children’s health, development and growth is through the direct delivery of service. Simply put, we try to provide healthy, nourishing food for them to eat. The Kids Snack Program significantly increases the nutritional value, quantity and variety of food that we are able to provide to children living in poverty.
Families are provided with a bag of nutritious snacks to last for five school days, including 100% fruit juice, healthy granola bars, natural fruit leather bars, unsweetened applesauce cups and yogurt tubes. This was based on the “choose most and/or choose sometimes” according to School District guidelines and in consultation with Interior Health. We also endeavour to provide vitamins throughout the year to children during the peak cold and flu seasons.
- Food Recovery Program
Food Recovery is an initiative to redirect food that is destined for the garbage to more appropriate end-users. Food Recovery addresses the environmental, social, and economic issue of food waste by taking food that is not fit for sale by producers, processors, and retailers and finds the best use for that food.
The food recovery program aims to better use this food to feed our vulnerable citizens and reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in the landfill.
Through this program, we collect food that is close to or at its best before date and get it to people in need through the food bank and other programs.
Benefits of a Food Recovery Program
Participation in food recovery means you are decreasing your environmental impact by reducing the amount of food waste being thrown into landfills and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from decomposing food.
Retailers can save money by decreasing disposal costs. Program recipients can redirect money that would have been spent on groceries to other needs for their families’ quality of life.
Many citizens in our community are in need of food support. By capturing the large amount of food being tossed out due to cosmetic and freshness reasons, we can redirect those foods to those who need it most.
Program Details/ History:
In March 2016, Community Connections began a Food Recovery Program (FRP). The aim of this program is to reduce the amount of food disposed in the landfill by redirecting food that is “fit for consumption, but not fit for sale” to our vulnerable citizens. The FRP began as a Feasibility Study, spanning over 3 ½ months. This food recovery program feasibility study was in direct response to a key recommendation from the 2014 Revelstoke Food Security Strategy.
Goal 2: Environmentally sustainable food production – Increase access to local and regional food that is sustainably and ethically produced through personal, business and municipal government actions;
Objective 2: Reduce food waste whereby organic waste products are used as valuable agricultural inputs and/or products that are still edible are recovered and redistributed.
The Community Connections Food Bank has had a Food Recovery Program in place for years, as a means for collecting donations, however pickups were limited and there were no alternative distribution systems. The study was a huge success, erupting with community support and was implemented into a year-round program for our community.
Our Food Recovery Programs partner with local farms, restaurants and food retailers to rescue food from being thrown away. Edible foods are directed through agencies that provide meals and food for hungry people, while inedible foods are composted or fed to animals. This program exists to decrease hunger and food waste via an efficient, safe, convenient food delivery system.
So far, our FRP has recovered over 86,000 lbs of food since beginning operations in March 2016.
Food Recovery Program Goals
1. Decrease food waste in the community.
a. We have kept over 71,000 pounds of food out of the landfill including food packaging.
b. Education provided to recipients about household food waste in order to reduce their own waste.
2. Increase the nutritional value of food bank-distributed food.
a. Increased fresh produce quantities for food bank clients.
b. We have provided most food bank clients with meat each week since program inception.
c. Support a balanced selection of food including: fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, and grains.
3. Provide alternative schemes for food collection and distribution in addition to the food bank.
a. Families, seniors, clients and agencies receive food through this program.
b. Food is publicly distributed to families, seniors and agencies each Wednesday.
c. Food is provided to families accessing Community Connections programs three times per week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday).
d. Food products remaining on Thursdays are distributed on Friday at the food bank.
4. Provide employment through program operations.
a. Employee #1 hired to handle daily tasks of the program through the Supported Employment Program.
b. Employee #2 hired to oversee the program and perform all administrative duties.
5. Decrease food costs for Community Connections’ programs and other community agencies.
a. Many of our programs and residential homes receive food on a regular basis, decreasing their food budgets.
b. We serve over 15 agencies to help with their food resources.
Our Food Recovery Program has partnered with over 5 regular donors and numerous small-scaled donors. We serve over 15 agencies including: School District #19, Women’s Shelter, Seniors’ Association, seniors’ group homes, and various other organizations.
Food waste comes in three types: fit for human consumption, fit for animal consumption, and fit for composting. We work with numerous local farmers to provide inedible food to be used as animal feed and/ or compost to assist with agricultural means in our community. So far, we have donated over 4000 lbs of food to farmers.
Through Community Connections programs and services and other agencies, approximately 500 people per week are benefiting from the FRP.
- A waste survey completed in 2013 calculated the amount of food waste from curbside pickup in Revelstoke to be 32.2% (2013 Solid Waste Characterization Study Revelstoke Refuse Disposal Site, Prepared for Columbia Shuswap Regional District by TRI Environmental Consulting Inc. (2013). This consisted of a mixture of compostables such as fruits and vegetables as well as non-compostables such as meat, bones, breads, non-liquid dairy and fats.
- We have recovered over 86,000 lbs of food to date.
- Partner with over 15 agencies in Revelstoke.
- Donated over 4000 lbs of food deemed “unfit for human consumption” to local farmers for animal feed or compost.
- Provide food for over 500 people per week.
- 31 billion dollars worth of food is wasted in canada every year (approx. 40% of food produced yearly in Canada).
Was the recovered foods from the garbage??
No! We partner with our food donors to store food that they can no longer sell for us to pick up before it is tossed in the garbage. Food is safely stored and has not been inside a garbage bin.
Is recovered food safe to eat?
Yes, as most food is thrown out based on Best Before dates or wrong packaging information, not because it is unfit for human consumption. Best Before dates are NOT expiration dates, they are retail freshness guidelines. Most foods follow a Best Before date guidelines, which is not a guarantee of the product’s quality or safety (ie. food can spoil before this date). Expiration dates exist only on baby formula and other human milk substitutes, nutritional supplements, meal replacements, pharmacist-sold foods for very low-energy diets and formulated liquid diets.
Donated food is assessed by our FRP Team as “safe for human consumption” or not. If it is deemed inedible, then it is given to farmers for composting purposes or animal feed. By finding purposes for all food received, we can eliminate food from ending up in the landfill.
Am I liable for giving food away?
No! Donors are protected by the provincial Food Donor Encouragement Act, which states that someone who donates food isn’t liable for injuries or death as long as the food is fit for human consumption and has not been tampered with.
I have food that is unfit for human consumption, what can I do?
Community Connections will take it! Food waste not suitable for human consumption can be used for animal feed or composted to create nutrient rich soil. Community Connections partners with local farmers to donate these food products.
Can we donate the leftovers from our staff party?
Thats a generous offer, but it depends. Community Connections adheres to strict compliance with Food Safe regulations provided by our regional health authorities, Interior Health. Food is this donated must meet the following requirements:
– Food has only been prepared and handled by cooks with Food Safe training.
– Food must have been prepared in a commercial-grade, approved kitchen.
– Food has not been presented to the public, such as at a buffet where guests can serve themselves.
– Food has been properly stored (i.e. proper temperatures, containers, time)
How can you help?
Everyone can do their part to eliminate food waste. In fact, over 40% of food waste occurs in the household. Educate yourself and those around you on food waste reduction skills, best before dates vs. expiration dates, meal plans, composting, food storage, and efficiency grocery shopping.
We are seeking out commited long-term volunteers to help with this program. If you are interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the change you want to see in the world!!
In 2014, the City of Revelstoke commissioned a Food Security Strategy to quantify our current level of food security and to make recommendations on actions that can increase our community’s food security.
The report was directed by a steering committee of local stakeholders. Within the development of the strategy the group was able to create a vision and goals for Revelstoke’s food security.
Revelstoke’s Food Security Vision:
Revelstoke will have a secure food system rooted in the community and centered on good food – food that is HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE. Revelstoke will have a culture that supports local food production where possible and recognizes the importance of food in bringing people together through growing, cooking and eating.
Revelstoke’s Five Food Security Goals:
Economic Sustainability: Support economic development opportunities related to local food production such as food production business, cooperatives, or partnerships through policy, education and networking.
The Food Security Strategy generated a list of recommended actions for increasing our community’s food security. One of the very high priorities was to create the position of Food Security Coordinator who would be tasked with implementing the remainder of the recommendations.
Community Connections hired a Food Security Coordinator and, in partnership with the City of Revelstoke, was able to secure funding from Interior Health to support this work. Some of the highlights of the work completed so far can be found below. For more information contact our Food Security Coordinator, Melissa Hemphill at email@example.com, 250-837-2920 x31.
- A what? A locavore? – by Cynthia Routhier
- Paying a fair share for food – by Jackie Morris
- Diving into food waste in Revelstoke – by Jenna Fraser
- Getting to the meat of eating local – by Goldie Rich
- Getting to the meat of reducing food waste – by Goldie Rich
- Revelstoke Local Food Initiative
- BC Food System Network
- Food Secure Canada
- Interior Health
- Farm Folk City Folk
- BC Farmers Market
- BC Food Security Gateway
- Good Food Organizations
- Kootenay Food
- Young Agrarians
- Farm Food Fork
- Food Skills for Families
- Fresh Choice Kitchens
- Preserve Produce
- Health Eating at School
- Healthy Schools BC
- Better Together BC
- Nutrition Link
- Protein Project
- Social Justice Advocate
Social Advocacy ensures that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services and opportunities they require to meet their basic needs and to develop fully. The Advocate serves as a point of contact for citizen concerns with local, federal and provincial social issues. This is accomplished through individual consultation and referral and community education activities that enhance public knowledge of governmental and community processes and activities.
Common Social Concerns:
• Housing, including Landlord/Tenant issues
• Human Rights
• Employment Standards
• Family Issues including Custody and Maintenance
• Poverty, and Financial Assistance
• Gender Equity
In addition, the Advocate provides consultation and education to groups and organizations, and facilitates citizen participation on social justice issues in this community. The advocate also engages in community social planning activities that facilitate collaboration between, and development of, programs that address social issues. The Advocate does not provide legal services, but can make referrals to appropriate legal professionals.
- Housing Outreach
The Housing Outreach Program assists persons who are homeless, or at extreme risk of becoming homeless, to access housing in Revelstoke. The Housing Outreach Worker can help overcome barriers to suitable, affordable housing in a variety of ways including:
• Assistance applying for Income Assistance (Welfare);
• Referrals to other community resources; and
• On-going support for our housed clients (and the landlords who house them).
To speak with the Housing Outreach Worker, drop-in to the Community Connections office at 314 Second Street East, Monday – Thursday between 1:00-4:00pm.
No appointment is necessary and clients will be seen on a first come, first serve basis. The Housing Outreach Program does not provide after hours emergency services.
For further information, contact Cathy Girling, the Housing Outreach Worker at (250) 837-2920 ext. 38 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Funding provided by BC Housing.
A video on Homelessness in Revelstoke
- Tenant Supprort
This program provides support services to individuals and families who are residents of BC Housing buildings in Revelstoke. The Tenant Support Worker assists tenants to overcome the various challenges that may arise when living in a social housing environment, so that they can be successful in their tenancies, and in their lives. The position involves coaching, capacity building, assessment, service planning, skills teaching, resource identification and referral, and follow-up.
- Food Recovery Program