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reFRESH Cowichan
Address: 360 Duncan Street Duncan, BC, V9L3W4
Email Address: nathan@cowichangreencommunity.org
Phone: 250-748-8506
About Us
reFRESH Cowichan is a committed group of individuals focused on the proper distribution of quality food throughout the Cowichan Region. We have initiated a Food Recovery Program to help us achieve our vision; to increase community access to delicious, healthy foods. Through established formal agreements we collect thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables from local grocery stores every week. The program then distributes donated produce to regional partners such as food banks, daycares, soup kitchens, shelters, First Nation communities and schools.

Initiated in 2018 under the Cowichan Green Community (CGC) umbrella, the program aims to reduce food waste by recovering 'surplus' food from grocery stores and distributing it through sustainable streams. We believe people should come first, then livestock, then compost, and above all, we aim to keep food products out of the landfill. To date, the program has picked up and recovered over 325,000 lbs of high quality food and donated it throughout the community to those who need it most. Whatever is deemed unfit for human consumption goes to local farmers to feed their livestock.

A small portion of the donated produce from select stores is made available for purchase to the entire community in the reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace at a significantly reduced cost alongside value-added items. This allows for long term sustainability of the program and increases access to nutritious food.

The meals we sell are made from recovered ingredients from select grocery stores. These items are by no means 'waste' but more often than not are simply 'surplus' or 'too ugly to sell' items that are being replaced with new stock. These ingredients are in perfect condition that are placed in sanitized totes that grocery store staff collect for us. These items are sorted a second time to double check for quality and then processed in our onsite commercial kitchen at CGC.

The sales of these meals goes directly back into the program to help support operational costs like staff, travel and expenses. Some of the funding will also go into supporting our other programs like Meals on Wheels and the reFRESH Marketplace Coupon Program.

Thanks for your support!
reFRESH Cowichan & CGC Team
Practices
A social enterprise model to help reduce food waste, while increasing community food security and health.