Responsibility for Gospel Chapel’s Food Recovery Program in Grand Forks has shifted to maximise its future growth, following a collaborative effort between the three organisations that manage, fund and provide the facility for it.
Boundary Community Ventures (BCVA), the organization developing the Boundary Food Hub funded by the Province of BC through the Regional District, will become responsible for the Food Recovery Program, taking over Gospel Chapel’s lead.
Under the new arrangement, Gospel Chapel will continue to provide the venue, RDKB will provide funding for the program and BCVA will manage the program under its Food Hub project. The staff person currently managing the program will be hired by BCVA.
The Food Recovery Program was started by Gospel Chapel in 2021 and is operated through Second Harvest, a national charitable organization whose vision is: “No Waste. No Hunger”.
Their mission is to “Grow an efficient food recovery network to fuel people and reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste”.
Gospel Chapel runs one of two food recovery programs in the Boundary. They recover food every weekday, year round, from Extra Foods. The other program is operated by Boundary Community Food Bank, who recover food from Save-On Foods.
Gospel Chapel sorts and distributes unprocessed food directly to a number of organizations, including Boundary Food Bank and Courtesy Kitchen.
They also process food in their commercial kitchen by making soups and dehydrated products, which are then distributed throughout the Boundary (from Christina Lake through to Big White). Food that isn’t suitable for human consumption is picked up by local farmers for animal feed. There are 50+ volunteers currently making this program work. The Community Care Coordinator at Gospel Chapel has been overseeing the program.
“We are so grateful to Gospel Chapel for their long history of supporting food security in the Boundary and for starting this program” says Grace McGregor, Vice-Chair of RDKB, Chair of RDKB Boundary Services Committee and Chair of Boundary Community Ventures.
“The Boundary directors are very supportive of this collaboration and have agreed to fund it. Food security and Greenhouse Gas reduction are two critical goals of the Regional District.”
In addition to the food recovery program, Gospel Chapel created the ad hoc Boundary Food Security Network, which has brought communication and coordination between all the organizations doing food security in the Boundary.
The Food Security Network has been meeting regularly since 2015 and includes Boundary Family Services, School District 51 and Boundary Women’s Coalition, in addition to all the food security organizations from Christina Lake to Big White.
“We are pleased to collaborate across organizations to maintain the Food Recovery Program” commented Executive Pastor Ben Jepsen.
“It has been a great undertaking for Gospel Chapel in the years we have operated it. This collaboration will allow the program to explore growth that further benefits our region.”