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Donation aims to help food security issues

“Grassroots groups and food support organizations rely on the Bow Valley Food Alliance to help them coordinate and connect. This donation will help us focus on what matters most – improving food security and food sovereignty in the Bow Valley.
20210226 Banff Food Rescue 0550
A table full of vegetables and fruit collected from local grocery stores for the Banff Food Rescue on Friday (Feb. 26).The volunteer-driven organization's goal is to provide food security in the Bow Valley by keeping good food from becoming food waste. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, volunteers now prepare bags of food to hand out at evening distributions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Participants are encouraged to donate $5 for a bag of food. EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

BOW VALLEY – A local foundation made a donation that will help the Bow Valley Food Alliance hire additional staff.

The Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation donated $55,000 to the food alliance, which will assist them in long-term planning to address local food security issues.

“At a time when many people are still struggling because of the pandemic, our donation will help the Bow Valley Food Alliance continue to provide residents in our community with local, affordable, inclusive and healthy food, instead of worrying about applying for grants,” said Cathy Geisler, the executive director for the Wim & Nancy Pauw Foundation, in a media release.

The Bow Valley Food Alliance (BVFA) focuses on fostering community-based food systems that are both equitable and ecologically-regenerative with the goal of attaining food sovereignty in the valley.

Geisler added the foundation has worked closely with the BVFA throughout the pandemic.

The foundation’s What’s For Dinner hamper program has prepared more than 4,000 food hampers - about 48,000 meals - and delivered 7,500 prepared meals with the YMCA Banff and the Town of Banff. The program reaches local residents and seniors in isolation and other people in need.

The BVFA has advocated for farmers markets and community greenhouses in the valley to be deemed essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Grassroots groups and food support organizations rely on the Bow Valley Food Alliance to help them coordinate and connect,” said Jill Harrison, a community development coordinator for the Town of Banff, who works closely with BVFA as funding board members, in a media release. "This donation will help us focus on what matters most – improving food security and food sovereignty in the Bow Valley.

“This funding will allow us to continue to support our local food systems advocacy work and meet the food security needs of equity seeking groups.”