Harvest Dinner promotes food security for islanders

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The Salt Spring Community Market Society is celebrating harvest season by giving back to the community.

Sunday, Sept. 23 is the annual Harvest Dinner Fundraiser that helps fund the Tuesday Farmers Market coupon program. The program is run through Salt Spring Island Community Services and gives people a chance to access fresh local food throughout the market season. Seniors and families in need can exchange the coupons for food at the Tuesday market, and take part in courses offered by SSICS at the market. It is funded mainly by the provincial government, with extra funding from the Berman Foundation and fundraising through the annual harvest dinner.

The night begins with cocktails and canapés at 5 p.m. at Bullock Lake Farm. Music plus guest speeches from representatives from the SSICS Second Harvest food security program, past and present coordinators of the coupon program and local farmers follow. Participants will also be entered into a draw for a gift basket of products from the Tuesday market.

Last year, the event raised $5,000. Combined with other funding sources, the coupon program raised around $22,000 for the 2018 market season, which allows SSICS to give out $1,000 worth of coupons for each week of the market.

“It’s really just a huge virtuous circle,” said Tuesday Farmers Market manager Rob Pingle. “It’s a really lovely grassroots thing where people have amazing options and choices to support locally grown food.”

Tickets are available at saltspringtuesdaymarket.com.

For more on this story, see the September 19, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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