In March 2020, the pandemic forced restaurants to close and people into their homes, with some farmers losing up to 40% of their anticipated sales that season. With crucial help from the Rapid Relief Fund, the South Island FarmHub was able to launch and ensure that local farmers had sales avenues for the food coming out of their fields, and community members could get it delivered right to their doorsteps. In addition, the 2019 purchase of the Mustard Seed’s Food Security Distribution Centre warehouse as a community asset enabled the FarmHub to work as a full-fledged produce aggregation & distribution centre. As we move forward, the benefits of supporting a local food economy have remained more relevant than ever and we are committed to being a leader in this change.
Since 2020, our online farmers’ market has expanded to include over 30 farmers and 25 food processors. We help make local, organic produce & processed goods accessible to our community at large: home customers, wholesale purchasers, local restaurants, and community organizations. Our Farmbucks Program is also thriving: this program creates the opportunity to support local charities in purchasing from our webshop so we can distribute this good food to the community in times of need and into the future. We are looking for further support to ensure that all community members have access to locally and ecologically grown healthy food. Learn more and donate to the Farmbucks initiative HERE.
In partnership with the Mustard Seed Food Rescue and now the in-development Kitchen Connect processing facility, the Victoria Community Food Hub is well positioned to address gaps in the conventional food system. In May 2022, a provincial grant from the Victoria Foundation is helping complete the construction of food processing infrastructure that will link all the initiatives of the warehouse at 808 Viewfield Road together, helping continue our mission of Good Food For All. We are excited to continue this journey with you all and are grateful for your support!