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North Shore Food Connections

Like many regions, the North Shore has many organizations providing creative solutions for food security, local food production, urban farming, and food rescue. Here are a few local projects.

The Table Matters network links local governments and non-profit organizations to look at local food security issues. Table matters created a local Food Charter that outlined the goals and principles for the region. You can learn more at www.tablematters.ca.

The Edible Garden Project is one of the key members of the Table Matters network, providing a range of projects including volunteer-run sharing gardens, Loutet Urban Farm, educational programs for schools, and the new urban garden under development at Southerland Secondary School. Please check out http://www.ediblegardenproject.com/ and consider getting involved as a volunteer.

Loutet Urban Farm employs a full-time farmer who works with volunteers to grow vegetables on a 1/3 acre garden near sports fields. The produce is sold to the public at gate markets once or twice a week. More information is at www.ediblegardenproject.com/loutet-farm.

Food waste is a large global issue brilliantly presented by a locally produced movie called Just Eat It. You can see the trailer and showings at http://www.foodwastemovie.com/ . You may never look at the produce in the supermarket the same way again!

I am producing video for a Table Matters project called Plan H: Scaling Up Food Rescue, where we are putting different groups together to rescue food. In one occasion, Quest Foods Exchange (www.questoutreach.org) provided salmon and other donated food to a non-profit group called Sharing Abundance (www.sharingabundance.ca), who used the food to provide a lunch for seniors. The salmon not eaten that day was made into fishcakes for a community dinner on the following Tuesday. The salmon was surplus for a wholesaler and could well have ended up in the landfill. Much better to eat it!

Another week we followed as produce donated by the Great Canadian Superstore in North Vancouver was picked up by Angel Food Runners (www.foodbank.bc.ca), made into soup by the chef at Silver Harbour Seniors Centre (www.silverharbourcentre.com), and served with sandwiches at the Food Hub at North Shore Neighbourhood House run by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (www.foodbank.bc.ca).

The Edible Garden Project also runs a new project at the Food Hub called the Edible Market Garden. Produce grown by volunteers in local sharing gardens is offered at far below market prices to Food Hub clients. More information is available at ediblegardenproject.com/food-hub.

The North Shore Fruit Tree Project (www.northshorefruittreeproject.ca) uses volunteers to pick fruit that would normally fall to the ground and rot. Organizations like The Harvest Project (www.harvestproject.org) receive the fruit.

One of the best-named organizations is CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub), a group that promotes backyard chickens. More information is at chickensinnorthvancouver.wordpress.com.

Many more organizations are featured on the Table Matters website at www.tablematters.ca. Most are looking for volunteers and other support. Similar groups are doing good work in your community. Consider getting involved.

One of the great things about getting involved with food groups is that excellent and tasty food is often part of the mission. Doing good work as well as making sure that you and others eat very well. Priceless.

Greg Dixon

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