Ganges diners have a new place to eat lunch. The Harvest Kitchen opened behind the Core Inn on McPhillips Ave earlier this month. The cute, little kitchen is the result of big effort by a number of people and organizations who have an interest in social enterprise.
In the spring of this year, the idea for the Harvest Kitchen was conceived. Simone Cazabon, Food Security Coordinator at Community Services, coordinated a collaboration that involves numerous programs at Community Services, market farmers, Country Grocer, Thrifty’s, and private donors―so far. All of the projects collaborators have an interest in rescuing food and feeding people.
The concept for the Harvest Kitchen is ingenious. Most of the food is coming from the Community Services, and grocery stores donate food that either didn’t sell or couldn’t sell due to minor blemishes. A creative cook prepares warm, healthy meals that sell at a great price. The Harvest Kitchen is open to the public, but here’s the twist: whenever you buy a meal, you also buy a meal for someone else.
People who benefit from this arrangement are selected individuals who have barriers to warm meals. Harvest Kitchen collaborates with the Food Bank, the Farmers’ Market Nutritional Coupon Program, and the Community Services farm to provide this additional source of meals for Salt Spring residents.
Although Simone says the Harvest Kitchen is off to a slow start, it is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 3pm in the heart of Ganges. This is a big improvement in terms of accessibility and healthy, affordable food for Salt Spring residents.
According to Simone, this is a chance for Salt Spring Island to show its leadership in food security and its ingenuity. She added, “We need to make this happen together.”
Although it certainly appears that the community is making it happen, Simone says that the project still needs support and donations. If this project inspires you to get involved, visit the Community Services online.