Supporting British Columbians' health and wellness through food security.
The importance of food security goes far beyond hunger. It affects physical and mental health and the ability to maintain personal relationships and work.
1 in 6 Canadians lived in a household facing a food shortage in 2020. For families with children that number is much higher, at almost 20%.
Ensuring British Columbians have access to nourishing, healthy, and culturally appropriate food is vital to the overall health and well-being of our communities. To help make that happen, United Way British Columbia focuses on the following food security initiatives.
Food Link by United Way BC app
Food Link by United Way BC helps British Columbians access healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food.
Everyone needs food, but many British Columbians cannot afford it. And, not all people have the same food needs. Background, income level, and age are just a few of the factors that determine what people eat and what and how much they buy.
Food Link by United Way BC is an innovative app that connects the food needs of nonprofit partners and their clients to local, regional and small-scale food organizations and suppliers while mobilizing volunteers to efficiently and cost-effectively transport food between locations.
Learn more about how Food Link is helping more British Columbians get the food they need, when they need it.
Download Food Link by United Way BC app at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Right in your neighbourhood – Regional Community Food Hubs
United Way Regional Community Food Hubs are an innovative, local response to food security.
Community members have access to food, food literacy and wellness programming, together with wrap-around services such as mental health support, employment services, childcare and more.
Hubs also offer volunteer and engagement opportunities for community members, right in their neighbourhoods.
By building dignity through respecting individual and community needs, Food Hubs strengthen bonds between members — creating vital connections between cultures and traditions of all kinds and improving the quality of life for children, families, seniors and individuals.
Strengthening a sustainable food security system for British Columbians requires everyone working together, united to achieve change. The Regional Community Food Hub network consists of non-profit partners, residents, businesses, all levels of government, the agricultural sector and other funders, working collaboratively to best meet British Columbia communities’ food needs.
Hubs are located in communities across BC. Find the one nearest you.
Rescue and recovery – Food Fillers
United Way Food Fillers are food rescue and recovery organizations, redistributing food at risk of being wasted by businesses to community partners who can utilize it.
Supporting the expansion of this network – including logistics like providing warehouse space or purchasing delivery trucks – means more food gets to more people.
Funding also helps build partnerships within the agricultural sector for the purchase of local fresh farm produce at reasonable rates.
Planes, trains and automobiles – Food Infrastructure Grant Program
In rural and remote areas and First Nation communities in British Columbia, the nearest grocery store can be hundreds of kilometres away. Community programs play a key role in ensuring all residents can get the nourishing food they need.
United Way, working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, oversees the Food Infrastructure Grant program for rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
The program helps improve the year-round, long-term purchase, storage and distribution of fresh, culturally appropriate, and other foods to enhance health and community well-being.
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