Health Authority aims to increase food security

Health Authority grants aim to increase food security on Vancouver Island.

Food security is one of the foundations of healthy eating.

But many people on low or fixed incomes are food insecure, said Analisa Blake, Vancouver Island Health Authority project leader of food security and healthy lifestyles.

To create more awareness, access and knowledge about local and healthy food, VIHA is providing grants to organizations through the Community Food Action Initiative. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Ministry of Health, which provides the money.

VIHA has awarded grants since 2006-07 totalling more than $500,000. This year, grants available range from $5,000 to $10,000 totallingabout $60,000.

Blake said projects that address food security usually focus on reaching people on low or fixed incomes, families with children, youth, aboriginal people and seniors.

“These are the groups that are really the most vulnerable – immediately vulnerable to food insecurity,” said Blake. “So they are the priority groups in this initiative.”

In 2007-08, Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society was awarded $9,900. In 2008-09 Nanaimo Foodshare was given $12,500 to fund a collaborative project meant to build food security in the Nanaimo area. The project involved four organizations Nanaimo Foodshare, Community Gardens Society, Community Kitchens and Foodlink.

Crystal Dennison, Nanaimo Foodshare executive director, said the project focused on how the organizations could work together in better ways to support food security in the area.

The initiative was one of the precursors leading to Foodshare becoming a VIHA Food Security Hub. The hubs work as leaders in food security planning in their areas.

“We’re quite thrilled VIHA has an interest in food security,” said Dennison.

Organizations seeking funding must meet one or more of five criteria: awareness about food security, access to local healthy food, food knowledge and skills, community capacity to address local food security and developing and using policies that support food security.

There are four funding categories: developing a community capacity building plan, developing a community food action plan, implementing a community food action plan and identifying and implementing a promising or emerging practice or approaches.

Submissions are accepted until 4 p.m. Dec. 30. For more information on the initiative, eligibility requirements and application forms, please go to

Just Posted

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read