Earlier this year, farmers in the Bella Coola Valley were hit with severe flooding. Regrettably, the river and rains took over 270 tons of winter feed, livestock, equipment, fencing, heritage fruit trees, barns and other critical farming infrastructure. However, none of the farms were ineligible for Provincial Emergency Assistance support because the farmers diversify their incomes with off-farm work in order to maintain the economic viability of their enterprises.
As a gesture of support for Bella Coola farmers and their vital role in the community’s food system, FarmFolk/CityFolk and the Grandview-Woodland Food Connection hosted a fundraiser film night for the community on December 7th. In addition to our concern for the losses faced by Bella Coola farmers and the well-being of their animals, Friends of the UBC Farm wanted to reciprocate the goodwill invested by a Bella Coola community member at UBC. Over the past few years, Dayna Chapman of the Bella Coola Valley Sustainable Agricultural Society has been a community partner for the 3rd-year Land, Food and Community course, which can be a rewarding experience, but it is also an investment of time and energy.
Accordingly, we pulled on our oven mitts and collaborated with our friends at Sprouts on a vegan bake sale at the film night fundraiser. Sprouts also raised funds for the Bella Coola Valley farmers through donations at one of its delectable Community Eats lunches.
A special Bella Coola Valley Farm Flood relief donation fund has been established at the Valley’s local credit union. Cheques can be made out to “CCRD-Farm Relief 2010″ and mailed to Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Box 214, Bella Coola V0T 1C0. If desired, a tax receipt can be issued if a donor includes his or her name and mailing address.