Patients at hospitals and residential care facilities in the Northern Health region will enjoy more B.C. food options on their meal trays.
“We are creating a resilient food system for the people of British Columbia through programs like Feed BC,” Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said in a Sept. 21 news release. “I’m so excited Northern Health is now part of Feed BC. We’re opening the door for a multitude of new, exciting business opportunities for B.C. farmers, fishers, ranchers and processors and I know they’re looking forward to providing more of their delicious products in the north.”
Some examples of current B.C. produced or processed products and suppliers to Northern Health’s facilities include:
• chicken/Sunrise Farms
• frozen green beans and peas/Sysco
• cheese/Paradise Island
• falafels/Amana Foods Inc.
• applesauce/Sun-Rype Products Limited
• frozen blueberries/Snowcrest Foods
• cakes, squares/Original Cakerie
“Northern Health is committed to continuing to work with our food suppliers and food distributors to include even more B.C. foods on our menu,” Michael Hoefer, Northern Health’s regional director of capital planning and support services, said in the release. “Supporting B.C. producers while preparing healthy meals with local ingredients for our patients and residents meets the values of our communities in the north.”
Through Feed BC, the Ministry of Agriculture is working with supply chain partners to increase opportunities for northern producers and processors interested in selling to B.C.’s public-sector institutions, according to the news release.
“Business development skills, guidance on how to sell to institutions, and targeted training for more northern producers to acquire food safety certifications required by health facilities will help support food production and open new markets in the region,” it states.
Daybreak Farms in Terrace is one of the producers involved in the Feed BC program.
“We are a family farm based in Terrace, and we are proud to produce our products in the north, for the north,” owner Kieran Christison said in the release. “The Feed BC program is such a great opportunity for producers in the northern region to showcase their products. Hospital patients and long-term care residents need the best care. They are our family, friends and neighbours, and Feed BC ensures that we are feeding them the best of local and nutritious products.”
Northern Health supports the health and wellness of more than 300,000 British Columbians in an area covering more than 600,000 square kilometres and operates 27 hospitals and residential care facilities, which serve more than 1.9 million meals per year.
In the provincial health care system, Feed BC now has partnerships with the Interior, Fraser and Northern Health authorities.