The fridge is stocked with fresh produce for the RVCS Free Food Farm Stand in Valemount. /SUBMITTED

Submitted by Rebecca Wylie, Food Security Coordinator at RVCS

The food security program at Robson Valley Community Services (RVCS) recently launched a community fridge that will supply free or by-donation produce to anyone who wants to access it. Increasing our intake of fresh local produce will benefit the physical and mental health of our citizens, reduce the amount of fresh food going to the landfill and increase emergency food access in the Valley for folks experiencing food insecurity.

The Free Food Farm stand can be accessed during RVCS business hours at 99 Gorse Street and is located in the main entrance of the building. Anyone accessing the fridge is able to come in, take or leave produce without having to speak with anyone if they choose. The idea behind the farm stand is to create a space where food is available for free with very few barriers, and for local growers to share and trade surplus. All vegetables and fruit are accepted as long as they are in good condition, and have not been processed.

Folks accessing free food options rarely get the opportunity to choose what food is given to them. This fridge will offer the choice and dignity to take food that is going to be used. Our hope is that the fridge will be used by folks from all walks of life. Those that have the financial ability to donate back to the food security program will do so and those that can’t will take what they will use without feeling any obligation to give anything in return.

In the first week since opening we had lots of positive feedback, donations from the Village Greens and offers for donations. We hope that everyone feels comfortable taking or trading food from the fridge and this way we will keep a good supply of fresh food flowing in and out.