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REPORTING · 11th July 2012
Walter McFarlane
Liz MacDonald presented on the topic of the food share program and the potential Kitimat Farmers Market at the Kitimat City Council on Monday, June 18th.

“We currently shared 47,705 pounds, that’s been saved at the Kitimat Landfill. We fed approximately 13,866 people over the time period if we counting a daily amount by the family members that came in. That’s in 180 days as of May 31st, so just about 50,000 pounds are not going into the landfill because of the food share,” said MacDonald.

They have been providing boxes of food to the schools, notably Kildala so the children could eat. They also plan to share food with the lunch program at the Nechako and Kildala parks to feed kids not in school during the summer.

MacDonald The program started with the goal of eliminating hunger for families in Kitimat and it is going well. The next stage will be to build a community for the people who do not have enough food. This will include community gardens, community kitchens and farmers markets.

To assist in this, she asked Kitimat Council for a change in zoning in the parking lot next to the Doctors Offices to create a Farmers Market.

“We’re asking that on Sunday’s only, it would be when none of the offices in this area are open, that this area of the parking lot could be rezoned for selling and we’d like to have a farmers market in this area,” said MacDonald.

She also indicated an area in Mountain View Square where they would like to put a community garden. They will bring people from Multilevel Care and Mental Health to work in the community garden. Kildala School has also volunteered to work in this garden.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan wanted to know if they have support of the Doctors Office, which MacDonald agreed they had. Monaghan also wanted to know if they had considered moving the market to be more visible.

MacDonald stated this would be more of a public market, not a farmers market, due to certain guidelines. Monaghan was quick to point out there were no farmers in Kitimat. MacDonald said they want to have such a market every second Sunday.

“In the long run, our goal is to have Mountain View Square become a public market place. Have more picnic tables, have a place where families can come and eat lunch with their kids if they want. Hang out around the community garden,” said MacDonald.

She stated Kitimat needed a picnic place in the down town area. She presented Council with a copy of a letter of support from Northern Health.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated there was a group working on a community garden. MacDonald stated the community garden which already exists is not big enough for everyone.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know if MacDonald was trying to attract Terrace’s Vendors. MacDonald said yes, and they would also like to have local people working on this. MacDonald stated she would like to have all of this done as soon as possible.

Councillor Mary Murphy wished her luck as older people can not look after their own gardens anymore, but love to grow things.

Monaghan stated it was: “Refreshing to have visionaries. When you have a vision and stick your neck out, some people say ‘whoa.’ We wish you all the luck and it looks like you’re pulling everyone together.”

When it came to later in the meeting, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion for staff to accommodate the opening of the market and provide a report concerning the proposed community garden. It was called and carried.