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The Food Share, Cumberland’s local Food Bank. 

Established in April 2020, the Food Share includes a permanent Food Shed and regular deliveries of Healthy Food Boxes to food insecure households. It started as a collaborative project between the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS), Weird Church and the Village of Cumberland, with the goal of ensuring everyone in our community has access to healthy, fresh food. It’s not your traditional food bank, but has been developed based on the needs and capacity of our community. In surveying residents, we learnt that many Villagers find it difficult to access the Comox Valley Food Bank in Courtenay. We identified a need to provide a service closer to home. 

How does it work?

Food Shed: A permanent, outdoor pantry is located at 2688 Penrith Avenue. Built and maintained by Weird Church, community members can drop off donations of non-perishable food, 24/7, while others can pick up what they need. 

Please don’t drop off expired or opened food and stick to non-perishable items. We communicated with folks who use the service and they shared their suggestions. A variety of options are helpful including toiletries, baby wipes, children’s snacks, whole oats (not instant), gluten free items, soups, cereal, peanut butter and canned fish. 

Healthy Food Box Deliveries: CCSS coordinates bi-weekly deliveries of Food Boxes to households in Cumberland. In 2020, CCSS staff and volunteers delivered a total of 1,371 Healthy Food Boxes! Funding for the program was secured through grants and donations. Weird Church provides in kind use of space for CCSS to run the program. 

Food Boxes include fresh, whole foods purchased through wholesalers and local farmers/producers. CCSS has secured funding to continue operating the program in 2021, but additional resources are needed to sustain the program over the longer term. Individuals and businesses can help by making a one time donation, or becoming a monthly donor. Charitable tax receipts will be issued for all donations. 

Together, the Food Shed and Healthy Food Boxes provide a variety of food options to our friends and neighbours who are facing food insecurity. 

If you are currently not able to access food due to financial circumstances, please register for a Healthy Food Box by completing this online form or stop by the Food Shed anytime. You can also contact us directly at ccss.coordinator@gmail.com

What feedback do we hear from Food Share participants?

Thank you for your kindness and for offering an anonymous way to receive support.

You’re freaking amazing and are the glue holding families together right now!

I hope this program will continue. It’s a great feeling that there are people in this small community who help support those in need.

If it were not for the people who started the Cumberland Community Schools Society, and now the Food Share program, I do not know how I would have survived. Bless their hearts, for they are a group that goes above and beyond.

Thanks to the Comox Valley Community Foundation, the Village of Cumberland and Weird Church for supporting this program in 2021.