It's a pandemic community service you won't hear about in the news - and for good reason.
The Richmond Food Security Society is a nonprofit organization that "inspires a robust food system through education, advocacy, and community-building initiatives." One of those initiatives, which began during COVID-19, is the Food Hub; it provides locally-sourced food to community members in need.
Executive director Ian Lai explains why many may be unaware of the society's efforts: "We're not publicizing this program because there needs to be dignity and anonymity around food insecurity."
The group utilizes a fully-stocked kitchen inside a modernized barn, located at the Terra Nova Community Garden. Ready-to-serve meals are cooked and packaged several times a week and distributed weekly to people facing poverty, local schools, and immigrant families.
Lai adds: "It's important as an organization to have resources available for people in the community to learn to grow food, be sustainable, eat healthier, make better choices."
The society was established in 2002 - by the Richmond Poverty Response Committee - as the Food Security Task Force, which eventually became an independent society in 2009.