Seeds of Change Surrey partnership addresses COVID-19 food security challenges
IN partnership with Seeds of Change Surrey, the City of Surrey is supporting the launch of two new food security programs that will address the challenges many residents are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeds of Change Surrey secured $77,000 in funding through the United Way of the Lower Mainland, in addition to in-kind support from the City of Surrey.
“Having access to affordable and healthy groceries during COVID-19 is essential for our community,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “Together with the Seeds of Change Surrey organization, we are mobilizing resources to support residents in meeting their everyday food needs as well as building community food systems resilience. On behalf of Seeds of Change, I would like to thank the United Way for their support on such an important project.”
Seeds of Change Surrey will immediately implement two programs to address food access challenges:
Seeds of Change Surrey Food Box (SOX BOX)
SOX BOX will assist those requiring food support through a systems-level coordinated grocery box approach. Food will be sourced, sorted and distributed to community organizations throughout Surrey, targeting households in need through neighbourhood pick-up locations or community agency locations. This program is complementary to the existing emergency food programs in Surrey and adds the greatly needed inter-agency coordination required to see more residents fed.
Yard to Garden Program
Yard to Garden is an initiative that supports residents in transforming their yards into gardens with the goal of growing more food and feeding more people locally. Participants are provided the materials needed to volunteer in growing vegetables at home. When possible, gardeners are asked to donate their excess harvest to local food banks and community organizations. Materials provided to participants include soil, seeds, educational resources, and gardening support.
The first food box deliveries under the SOX BOX program took place on July 25, and the Yard to Garden program is scheduled to launch August 4, with registration opening on July 31.
To ensure that the greatest impact can be realized over the growing season, and while the pandemic continues to effect residents’ income, Seeds of Change Surrey intends to have these programs in operation until October 2020, with the ability to extend as needed.
City staff continue to work closely with Seeds of Change Surrey to explore collaborative approaches that address building community food system resilience citywide for all Surrey residents.