March 8, 2023 By Government of British Columbia
British Columbia is investing more than $200 million in food security to ensure people have better access to an increased supply of affordable, local food.
“Food security in British Columbia requires an available, affordable and uninterrupted supply of nutritious food,” said Premier David Eby. “At the same time, we need targeted, effective programs that support the people and communities most impacted by rising inflation, climate events and supply-chain shocks.”
The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food will invest in new and enhanced programs to strengthen the province’s food supply chain and expand local food production from producers to processors and from packers to retailers. The ministry will also be investing in Indigenous communities to help with the availability and cost of food and to improve local food security, particularly in remote and rural communities. The funding will also help agricultural producers and food processors grow their businesses and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.
“This historic investment will give British Columbians access to more nutritious, local and affordable food while maintaining agriculture as a key economic driver in B.C.” said Pam Alexis, minister of agriculture and food. “This funding will help strengthen our food supply chain, increase food security in our communities and improve our resilience in the face of a changing climate.”
Additionally, grants from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will strengthen food banks, food distribution and food access. This includes providing food to under-served communities through trusted partners, such as FoodBanks B.C. and the United Way, as well as increasing the availability of fresh food in rural, Northern and Indigenous communities.
“Global inflation has hit people hard and the rising cost of food is especially tough on vulnerable people,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of social development and poverty reduction. “Helping people lead full, dignified lives is the right thing to do, and funding will help thousands of people access nutritious, affordable food.”
Food insecurity has increased because of COVID-19, inflation, supply chain issues and climate emergencies that interrupt the food supply as well as production. This unprecedented investment recognizes the diverse challenges of food producers, processors, suppliers, retailers and consumers, strengthening food security for everyone.
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