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The Comox Valley Food Bank

Local Connections: The Comox Valley Food Bank

The Comox Valley Food Bank (CVFB) was founded on the idea of neighbours helping neighbours. They believe that providing additional food to support those struggling with food insecurity increases individual and community wellbeing and capacity. Offering people additional support around food security increases their capacity to show up as their best selves in work and in community. In particular, they are dedicated to the role that they play in the social support network, working to reduce food waste and improve food security in the Comox Valley.

The CVFB currently rescues approximately 80,000 pounds of food each month from major distributors within our catchment area (same as School District 71), such as Costco, Thrifty Foods, Hugh’s Independent, Quality Foods, Shopper’s Drugmart, and Walmart. They collect and purchase food daily, bring it to the Food Bank at 1255 McPhee Avenue, and organize it to be distributed, stored, and shared with the community. The Food Bank provides supplemental food sources, ideally on a temporary basis, from Monday to Friday, 9am-12pm to over 3,500 client visits from Oyster River to Bowser each month. While there are some reasons, such as disability, where a client may need extended support from services like the CVFB, their internal research indicates that many clients visit either once per month or for a period of approximately 6 months or less. For community members who have mobility or transportation challenges, the Food Bank also provides a home-delivery service of fresh and non-perishable goods every two weeks.

The CVFB also distributes food to as many as two dozen like-minded community partner organizations, like Lake Trail Community Education Society (LTCES), Cumberland School Society, the Transition Society, Family Services Association, and Vancouver Island Health Authority. In particular, relationships with schools like LTCES support fantastic food programs and food classes that increase young people’s capacity to learn and develop and engage with food-related education. In the last year, the CVFB has increased their relationships with local farmers, which has allowed them to offer beautiful, fresh, local produce that enhances the nutritional value and quality of the meals that clients are creating for themselves and their families. Because of generous donations from local producers, conscious of sharing with neighbours in need and reducing food waste, produce such as beans, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, apples, and fresh herbs were available to Food Bank clients. In the near future the CVFB will see the completion of a Community Kitchen that will facilitate proper food portioning, preparation, preservation, and could eventually lend space to community partners.

In August and September of this year, they harvested their very first crop of three different squash varieties! A generous donation of a cleared field and expert guidance from Arden Farms meant that, for the first time, they were able to grow their own produce specifically for Food Bank clients. They are looking forward to expanding the types of produce that they grow, as well as their knowledge and understanding of farming in the coming years.

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With dedicated and passionate support from community members and volunteers, the Food Bank offers a few initiatives that extend their support to local families beyond food supplies. In September, they put together and distributed over 300 backpacks full of school supplies to families with young people starting school. Additionally, they have birthday party kits available throughout the year for families with young people wanting to host a birthday party. They love receiving photos that community members send in so that we can all experience the full impact of these initiatives. If you have benefited from or been a part of these initiatives and have photos or stories that you would like to share, please reach out to the Food Bank directly and ask to speak with their Strategic Communications person, Sarah.

The CVFB is grateful for everyone in this community who is contributing actively and thoughtfully to the food security movement, from financial donations, food drives, and produce donations to sharing information, building relationships, and using rescued foods effectively and intentionally to create nutritious meals for people in need. Their website,, provides established information, including a tour video illustrating what a basic visit to the Food Bank could look like. Their Facebook and Instagram (@cvfoodbank) accounts provide regularly weekly updates for clients, community members, and partners. They are always happy to have conversations with local community members looking to have a positive impact on the food security movement or partner in a way that increases access to healthy, balanced, nutritious meals. If you have questions or would like to speak to a member of staff about anything, please reach out by email to [email protected] or by phone at 1-250-338-0615.

Brought to you by the Comox Valley Food Bank



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