For the past 13 years slo-foods has donated to various community fundraising events.  COVID-19  has shifted our focus to supporting the Food Security Initiative that we believe has the greatest direct benefit to our community.  As a board member of Gabriola Agricultural Co-Op I had the opportunity to initiate and guide the BCAFM Nutrition Coupon program through it’s initial stage. After over 30 years of involvement with the sustainable agriculture movement it is my observation that this program is a keystone in building personal and collective food security.  https://bcfarmersmarket.org/coupon-program/how-it-works/

Setting the coupon program aside, we acknowledge the importance of Gabriola Agricultural Co-Operative as an economic driver for our community. As with many organizations COVID-19 has increased administration costs while negatively affecting revenues.  There are a number of ways that the we as a community can step forward  and I encourage everyone to engage according to their abilities.

slo-foods.com has pledged funds to Gabriola Agricultural Co-Op specifically to support the nutrition coupon program. This sponsorship will cover the annual membership in BC Association of Farmers Markets as well as some of the administration costs of implementing the nutrition coupon program.

The collaboration between BCAFM, Gabriola Agricultural Co-Op and PHC over the past two years has placed over $25,000 into the pockets of low income families and seniors flowing by design to our local food producers.  It is well known that each dollar spent locally circulates six to seven times within the community. Our goal is to empower several pieces of of the Food Security puzzle, demonstrate aspects of the circular economy and encourage the participation of the broader community who share the same values.

Eric Veale