Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) Cabinet has approved a suite of new initiatives through funding totalling $314,000 from Indigenous Services Canada. MNBC will put $185,000 of the funds solely towards food security, with over 90% of it directed to MNBC Chartered Communities, split equally.
MNBC has heard from Chartered Communities through consultation and engagement sessions that addressing food security is a major need for Métis individuals and families across B.C. The funding can be used towards a wide range of expenditures that includes, but not limited to:
- Grocery gift cards
- Food hampers
- Grocery delivery service
- Community fridge containing fresh food
- Virtual community dinner which includes supply of all ingredients
- Volunteer honoraria related to food security
MNBC is also launching a Home Gardening Pilot Project in response to requests from MNBC citizens and communities to create more self-sufficiency in food security. The pilot project will see the distribution of 11 seed starter packs and funds to purchase soil and gardening tools for up to 50 families. Applications open March 26 and will be assessed on a first-come-first-serve basis, with fair distribution over MNBC’s seven regions, and can be found at mnbc.ca/covid or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org Participants will be encouraged to share their progress with MNBC to assess the success and sustainability of the project.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that food security is a problem for our communities,” says Susie Hooper, MNBC Minister of Environmental Protection. “With these programs we can help address the gaps in food security while also creating opportunities for self-sustainability.”
“When COVID first came to our communities, food hampers and gift cards for groceries were much needed,” says Marlene Beattie, BCMANR Captain for Region 3. “COVID is still here and the need hasn’t gone away, so this funding is extremely helpful for our Métis people.”
MNBC will also use some of the funding to provide business tools for summer students working from home due to COVID-19. The students, scheduled to start in summer 2021, will have tools to work safely at home while providing support to MNBC program and receiving invaluable work experience.