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Three P.R. organizations partner to develop food distribution network

$167,000 grant awarded to GSN, PRDCC and Ecotrust Canada to strengthen food supply chains
Blair Mirau, Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society CEO, is seen in a hydroponic greenhouse the society purchased in 2020 to promote food stability and local supply. (Photo: supplied)

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society (GSN), with Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Ecotrust Canada have been awarded $167,000 to develop a food distribution network, the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation announced, on April 18.

The development of a web-based platform that connects key players in the food supply chain will build strong relationships for a Northwest food distribution system. Research will be conducted by consulting the key players in the food supply chain to understand how to best connect them within the region. A web platform will then be developed to showcase stakeholders in northern B.C.

“The pandemic has demonstrated how vulnerable rural, remote and Indigenous communities are to interruptions in the supply chain,” Blair Mirau CEO of GSN said. “So we are thrilled to play a role in building a more resilient regional food network from Haida Gwaii to Smithers and everywhere in between.”

The$6 million funding through the Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program redistributed as a one-time grant of up to $400,000 to 24 B.C. wide-ranging projects that focus on various aspects of strengthening B.C’s manufacturing ecosystem. The projects will make the province more secure in the face of global supply interruptions, the announcement stated.

“In the early days of the pandemic, the shelves of Prince Rupert’s two major grocers rapidly depleted, highlighting how food insecure we are,” Jennifer Rice MLA for North Coast, said. “This funding will help protect against external shocks and strengthen food supply chains in northwest B.C.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of our manufacturing sector for the critical made-in-B.C. goods it delivers and jobs it provides in every region of the province,” Ravi Kahlon, minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said.

“The Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society and our project partners are grateful for the support of the Province towards addressing food insecurity in B.C.’s Northwest,” Mirau said.

K-J Millar | Journalist
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