The CUPE B.C. Women’s Committee has given an Okanagan Initiative Fund grant to the Summerland Root Cellar Cooperative.
Root Cellar Cooperative president Toni Boot said the $500 grant will go to canning equipment, waiver of class fees for members requiring financial assistance, and purchase of locally grown produce and fruit for preserving.
“Our primary goal is to promote food security for all families especially those who are most at risk due to financial constraints,” Boot said. “The Root Cellar teaches food preservation techniques using local and sustainable food products that support a self-reliant and healthier lifestyle. The CUPE grant will help us offer this service to financially constrained people on a low- or no-cost basis.”
The grant was given as part of a CUPE B.C.’s Ten Percent Shift campaign.
“CUPE members will support our local businesses, including farmers, to the tune of 10 per cent of our consumable budgets monthly,” said Kim Sarada of CUPE B.C. “This campaign is one of the reasons that The Root Cellar was such a perfect fit for funding coming from our committee.”
Founded earlier this year, the Summerland Root Cellar Cooperative’s mission is to act as a catalyst for local food security by encouraging residents to buy local and support community growers.
“We live in an agriculturally rich area – food farming is part of our heritage. Supporting local growers is good for our health and good for the local economy,” Boot said.
The cooperative teaches food preservation, offers a preserves to-order service, and creates products from local ingredients for sale. The business is currently working on starting a CSA/Food Box program in collaboration with several local growers. Membership is open to individuals and groups interested in community food security.