The Richmond Eats: A Local Food Eating Challenge wrapped up on Sunday after a week of some moaning and groaning but also one of discovery that Lulu Island — particularly in summer — has a bounty of food available for its residents.
Richmond Food Security Society (RFSS) director Stephanie Dunn said her group raised $9,200 for its core activities thanks to the challenge, which saw 15 official participants try to eat food grown or raised exclusively in Richmond.
The challenge intended to show the public the food gaps in Richmond and shed light on the issue of food security.
Dunn said the best part of the challenge was getting a chance to connect with other people who were passionate about local food and learning about the different approaches that were taken.
She said among the challenges was food preparation and sourcing food ahead of time. For intsance, many participants had to wait five days for an order of local chickens from the Fowl Farmer.
After getting those chickens, many other cooking opportunities arose, said Dunn, such as using broth to make soup.
The challenge was just that, given participants had only three, non-local items to choose from.
Dunn, who chose coffee as one of her “cheat” items, said a little more food preparation before the week started would have helped her, especially with three young children.
Dunn said there are several programs the RFSS will put the money towards.
The RFSS operates a budding seed library, whereby Richmond residents can give and take seeds for their private gardens. The seed library is a method of artificial selection to promote the best plants that most fit Richmond’s microclimate.
The society also runs youth kitchen seminars, food studies, a fruit recovery program and, most notably, it manages the 300 community garden plots in the city.
The RFSS plans to present a local food charter to Richmond city council in December. The charter will address how to strengthen community involvement in food and agricultural policy.