The Richmond Food Security Society (RFSS) has been recognized provincially after its meal program provided hundreds of meals each week to at-risk community members during the pandemic.
According to a statement from the City of Richmond, the society was awarded the 2021 British Columbia Recreational and Parks Association (BCRPA) Provincial Award for Community Leadership virtually on May 5.
The award recognizes outstanding leadership by an individual or organization that effectively acts to build a healthier, more vibrant community.
Between May and December 2020, RFSS’ Food Hub program re-purposed 4,000 pounds of donated food into 500 ready-made, weekly meals for at-risk community members.
RFSS boosted its meal program – itself part of the society’s food security program – in response to growing concerns about food insecurity during COVID-19. Four volunteer chefs joined the program, which continues to operate out of the Terra Nova Red Barn owned by the City of Richmond.
The city formally partnered with RFSS in 2010, which has “played a key role in expanding the food security system across our city,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie, in a statement.
“This award is an acknowledgement of the positive impact working together has in strengthening our community and its resources.”
Ian Lai, executive director of RFSS, said the society’s relationship with the city is “truly unique.”
“We feel supported in our endeavours to create change while meeting the needs of the community,” he said in a statement.
Through education, advocacy and community-building initiatives, RFSS hopes to create a resilient local food system.
Other RFSS programs include Community Gardens, Seed Library, Fruit Recovery and Get Rooted Youth and Kids in the Garden.
In total, four awards of excellence were presented this year by the BCRPA. The three other recipients include the North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex (facility excellence award), the Unwin Park and Jumpstart Playground (parks excellence), both in Surrey, and the West Vancouver-based Feed the Need program (program excellence award for populations over 15,000).