Fresh food pilot program at Alberni’s food bank

The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Integrated Health Network has partnered with Port Alberni Salvation Army on fresh food program.

Ask and ye shall receive.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Integrated Health Network has partnered with the Port Alberni Salvation Army on a pilot program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to IHN clients.

“It feels exciting and gratifying to finally get this,” Major Bruce MacKenzie said. “We have a strong partner that we’ll be able to begin addressing this issue with.”

Finalized in March, the program is available to IHN clients who demonstrate a need for education and experience with healthy food preparation, VIHA spokesperson Anya Nimmon said.

The program starts next week and the boxes of fresh fruit and produce will be provided once a month for three months total per recipient. Along with the food box the patient will attend a course in healthy eating and food preparation.

The initiative begins to address a longstanding need of the Salvation Army’s.

In an interview with the news last winter, Major Bruce MacKenzie said that the food hampers they provided were largely carbohydrate and starch based, and that there was a need for fresh fruit and vegetables in them.

The Salvation Army and IHN were finalizing the program then before it was put to VIHA for consideration and funding.

Fresh produce for the new program will be purchased from local vendors either on the same day or as close to as possible.

“We just don’t have the capacity, space or resources to be able to accommodate storing fresh fruit and produce on site,” MacKenzie said.

The initiative will measure the need and effectiveness of the program and, depending on the results, may be extended next year.

VIHA has been looking for a provider to deliver the pilot in Alberni for a couple of years and IHN is a perfect vehicle , VIHA spokesperson Anya Nimmon said. “Healthy food boxes are educational components of the IHN’s nutritional work with patients who are learning to self manage their chronic illnesses in other communities,” she said.

The cost to deliver the program isn’t known and will be evaluated during the next several months. Nimmon couldn’t say how many clients will use it, saying further than it depends on utilization of available three boxes per client.

VIHA delivers similar programs in Nanaimo, Sooke, and Oceanside, Nimmon said.

The Community Food Bank, which the Salvation Army operates, provides up to 500 food hampers per month to those in need.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

Virtual simulation engages users in the event of a tsunami hitting Port Alberni

A team from the University of Victoria display a tsunami simulation at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Highway 19A closed in both directions near Union Bay

An incident involving a vehicle has shut down Highway 19A in both directions early Saturday morning.

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read