Surrey and White Rock Food Action Coalition chairwoman Deirdre Goudriaan and coalition member Rick Ketcheson. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Surrey and White Rock Food Action Coalition chairwoman Deirdre Goudriaan and coalition member Rick Ketcheson. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

The Surrey and White Rock Food Action Coalition may have an answer for residents looking to save a buck when making healthier food choices.

A couple of years of work has went into the coalition’s Community Food Resources map, which is programmed into the City of Surrey’s COSMOS online mapping system.

Coalition chairwoman Deirdre Goudriaan and coalition member Rick Ketcheson sat down with Peace Arch News Sunday to explain the resource, and how it can be utilized to benefit local families.

The map highlights more than 150 locations where residents can find food banks, community kitchens, places to buy low-cost food, community gardens, community supported agriculture projects and farms that operate “farm gate sales.”

Not only can the tool be used to find affordable food, but it can foster community interaction, Ketcheson said.

“It’s such a fundamental part of physical and social health. Sharing food at places like community kitchens brings people together. If you can bring people together with food, many of the things that separate us fall away,” Ketcheson said.

“Food is the currency,” Goudriaan added.

The map also highlights programs like Food Skills for Families.

“In that program, people come together and learn how to purchase food and then make recipes from it. At the end of it, they take the food home in take-away containers. The program runs for eight weeks and at the end of it people feel, generally, more skilled when it comes to food preparation,” Goudriaan said.

Ketcheson and Goudriaan said Canadians are some of the biggest food wasters in the world, which is a trend they would like to see changed.

Ketcheson said there are many reasons why so much food goes to waste.

“It happens at various different points along food production. Right from the food that’s left in the field because it’s not pretty enough to make it to the shelves. Food that’s grown on public and private property that people don’t use, it could be rescued from just going to waste. Food that gets rejected from the supermarket and all the way down to we have some individual responsibility for the food you discard from your refrigerator because you bought too much or didn’t get to it in time,” he said.

One program supported by the coalition to help families is the Starfish Pack program, Goudriaan noted.

The program, Goudriaan said, was started to help families stock their cupboards through the weekend. Students in the program receive a backpack at the end of the week that’s filled with food.

Although there’s an impression that South Surrey and White Rock are affluent areas, there are families in need, Goudriaan said.

“You’d be surprised,” she said. “Even though there’s an impression of affluence here, there certainly is hunger in this community and I think there’s a stigma about it because it’s an affluent community.”

It’s not just young families that struggle, Ketcheson added.

“Seniors who are living alone in isolation are at risk,” he said.

Ketcheson said preparing food and reducing waste takes effort.

“It takes a fair bit of attention if you want to not waste in your kitchen. I grew up on the Prairies and my parents lived through the Depression so it was ingrained in me not to waste things. It’s challenging, you’re always thinking about what’s there? What can I eat? Do I need to buy that much?” he said.

The Surrey and White Rock Food Action Coalition is made of a group of volunteers that work towards food security.

More information on the coalition, or to volunteer, can be found at http://surreywhiterockfoodactioncoalition.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read