The Columbia Basin Trust announced $440,000 in funding for 10 projects with a focus on food recovery last week.

“Communities told us that making essentials like nutritious food more affordable and accessible is a priority for improving well-being in our region,” says Aimee Ambrosone, Director, Delivery of Benefits at Columbia Basin Trust in their medea release. “Food recovery is one way that we can meet the needs of children and families, while also helping to reduce food waste and loss.”

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op Association has received $89,000 in support from Trust to distribute locally produced food to low income families.

Manager in the Delivery of benefits Hannah Holden says Silverton, Nelson, Castlegar, New Denver and the Slocan Valley will upgrade food recovery technology and infrastructure and teach about food preparation, preservation and storage. She says the Salmo Community Resource Society will also be improving existing classes.

“They’re going to expand existing efforts in of their current program by offering workshops for community members on food preservation, food processes like canning and dehydration.”

Creston will see two projects in the Valley with a combined value of $100,000 including a commercial dehydrator and other equipment though Fields Forward.

Holden says cherries that would otherwise see the landfill will be processed.

“They will be making juice and mash. Turning those cherries into products like fruit leather, cherry powder and juice.”

The very same cherry products will be locally distributed in partnership with Creston Valley Food Action Coalition as well as the aforementioned West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op Association. They will also facilitate a series of cooking classes for families using gleaned and donated ingredients.