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Photos: Richmond students harvest carrots at Lansdowne

Kids learn about farming and food insecurity.

Around 20 Richmond students surrounded the Lansdowne Food Gardens for the first carrot harvest of the year on Monday morning.

Cook elementary’s Grade 2/3 students joined gardener Tomas Burns to learn how to take care of plants, plant beet seeds and pull out carrots straight from the garden plot.

The field trip was a way for the kids to learn how vegetables can be grown in their own backyards and balconies while learning about food waste and food insecurity that is happening in the community.

Lansdowne Centre’s food garden was erected during the pandemic to grow fresh produce, support families experiencing food insecurity and provide fresh meals for local elementary schools.

More than 2,000 pounds of produce have been donated to the Richmond Food Bank Society and Urban Bounty to help those in need since 2021.

Hajira Hussain, executive director of Richmond Food Bank, said the food bank has seen a 56 per cent increase in the number of families requiring grocery assistance services compared to last year.

“This increase has a lot to do with the high food prices, high cost of renting, economic uncertainty, and the ongoing refugee crisis,” said Hussain.

“We are serving a lot more seniors, new immigrant families, students, and refugees than what we used to pre-pandemic.”