At the Kamloops Food Policy Council we work with our community to build a food system which is regenerative, sovereign, and just. As part of this work we operate our Community Food Action Program, which provides a source of local food free of financial barriers to those in our community. This program reduces food waste, increases the amount of food being grown locally, and distributes the produce across the city. In order to distribute the food from these programs, we rely on our Gleaning Abundance Program (GAP) van. Previously, a used van was generously donated to us but is now coming to the end of its life. Lacking a dependable vehicle has at times prevented us from being able to harvest ripe produce and take it to those in need. If we are able to meet our full funding goal, we would like to purchase an electric vehicle. Purchasing a climate friendly vehicle which aligns with our values is extremely important to us, but remains financially out of reach.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across BC experienced threats to food security as we experienced supply shortages and increased economic hardship. Additionally, worsening climate change threatens an already fragile global food system. Building a strong and resilient local food system will support our community through current and future challenges.
The Kamloops Food Policy Council operates The Gleaning Abundance Program (GAP) and The Butler Urban Farm (BUF) as part of our Community Food Action Program. These programs ensure a local source of food for our community, as well as distributing this food to those in need.
The Gleaning Abundance Program brings people together to help harvest our local abundance of fruit and vegetables and share it with the greater community. Our main focus is fruit trees, but we also glean farms and gardens. People with an abundance of produce get their crops harvested, our volunteers get free fresh-picked produce, and local community groups receive fruit and vegetables for their clients and programs. This program reduces food waste, feeds the community, and facilitates connections between community members. This program has been running since 2013, and has harvested over 130,000 pounds of produce since then. We harvested 14,219 pounds of fruit in 2020.
The Butler Urban Farm is a “no-fences” farm growing food according to organic and regenerative principles. Everyone in the community is invited to enjoy the urban greenspace, access vegetables free of charge, and learn alongside one another. Produce is offered to anyone who comes by, with large harvests going out to local community groups who prepare it in their kitchens. Volunteers play a large role in supporting this project, and receive a portion of the harvest in return. However, everyone is equally entitled to the harvest with no expectations or questions asked. We also offer opportunities for education and workshops in the space. The Butler Urban Farm was operational under the organization JUMP Kamloops since 2015, and was passed into the care of the Kamloops Food Policy Council in 2020. We harvested 6,400 pounds of produce in 2020.
There is so much more to the GAP program than harvesting fruit from people's yards. For my family, it is an opportunity to talk about the abundance of food we have available in our Region, the importance of helping the community by providing food security to those less fortunate, agriculture and the biology of how plants grow, reducing wildlife/human conflict by removing the attractants that bring wildlife into urban areas, and the opportunity to connect with other like-minded community members
I think the Gleaning program is awesome. I personally have met a lot of people over the years. It feels good to know others are not going hungry and are supported by what we do. It also has saved my family a lot of money on groceries as well. Best of all I love picking! Thank you for the opportunity to do so.
The Butler Urban Farm has provided me with an opportunity to give back to my community and to develop new skills and knowledge. In addition the Butler Urban Farm has helped me to feel like I am positively addressing the issue of food security in a meaningful way within our community. It is helping to provide an essential service to vulnerable populations in Kamloops, bringing people together and utilizing land to benefit the community.
We are a registered charity and therefore all donations will be issued a tax deductible receipt. If we reach our full funding goal, an electric van will be purchased. This funding goal is set to be supplemented by grant funding for electric vehicles. If this funding goal is not met by the time our other van is unusable, we will purchase a conventional van.
Find out more about our work
Our webpage: https://kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com/
KFPC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KamloopsFoodPolicyCouncil
BUF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447314692285048